Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personalities)
Christian Support

Answers to Every Question

Find the Help You Need Quickly

By Grantley Morris

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Dissociative Identity Disorder Emergency Help

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Multiple Personalities Quick Help

The dream of this webpage is to push Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to the extreme of quick access to answers to almost every question anyone could ever ask about Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Learning about Dissociative Identity Disorder in general, is best done through entertaining, informative and highly readable articles. I urge you to give them priority. You will find them here: Dissociative Identity: Free Resources.

This webpage, however, fills a very different role. It is more like a search engine or encyclopedia devoted to D.I.D., empowering you to quickly locate the information you need about a precise aspect of D.I.D.

For some issues, key words are hard to find. These are listed below the list of key words.

IMPORTANT: After locating the relevant section of this webpage, getting the maximum benefit is possible only by visiting every link listed there. Since some of the links are to lengthy webpages, this could take more than one session. Ensure you have bookmarked the original section or have some other foolproof way of finding it, so that you don’t miss the other links.

LINKS HARD TO USE? Choose Phone Version


Alphabetical List of Key Words

Accountability, Diminished Responsibility

Addictions

Advantages of Having D.I.D.

Afraid – Fears, Phobias

Afraid of God

Alter, definition

Alters Coming Out at Inappropriate Times

Alters Hurting Other Alters

Anxiety

Anger – Feeling Angry in General

Anger at What One has Suffered

Angry, Nasty or Terrifying Alters

Animals – Alters Who See Themselves as Animals

Anti-Christian Alters

Arguments/Conflict between Alters

Art

Assassin Alters

‘Astral Travel’

Attachments, Dependency

Baby Alters

Backward – Regressing

“Bad” Alters

Bad – Thinking of Oneself as Bad/Evil

Bad Memories, Flashbacks & Nightmares

Baptism: Should Alters be Baptized Individually

Bedwetting – Toilet Difficulties

Blame

Blaming God

Body Memories

Body Time

Bonding, Dependency

Change – Alters Afraid to Change or Reluctant to

Child Alters See Little Alters (older than babies) or Baby Alters)

Choosing a Counselor – Human Support

Co-Consciousness

Communicating with Alters

Conflict/Arguments between Alters

Confusion

Controlling Dangerous Alters

Conversion Disorder – Apparent Physical Disability

Counselor

Crazy? – Fearing You’re Going Insane

Crime – Fearing you’ve Committed One

Criticism, Hurtful Remarks & People Who Don’t Understand

Cross-Dressing: Alters Thinking They’re the Opposite Sex

Dangerous Alters

Dating

Dead Alters

Defeatism

Demons

Dependency – Too Attached to Someone

Depression

Detesting Your Alters

Diagnosis: Self-Doubt that You have D.I.D.

Diapers – Toilet Difficulties

Diminished Responsibility

Disability – When Some Alters Seem to have a Physical Disability

Disappear – When Abilities or Alters Vanish

Discouraged

Disliking Your Alters

Disputes between Alters

Dolls, Toys & Play

Doubting You have D.I.D.

Drawing

Dreams & Nightmares

Dumb – When Alters Can’t Speak

Eating Disorder

Emotional Deadness – Unable to Feel

Emotions that Don’t Make Sense

Evil Alters

Evil – Thinking of Oneself as Evil/Unforgivable

Evil Spirits – Demons

Explaining D.I.D. to Alters

Explaining D.I.D. to Others

Failure, Feeling a Failure

False Memories

Father God – Problems Relating to

Fearing Integration

Fearing You’ve Committed a Crime

Fearing You’re Going Insane

Fears, Phobias

Fears & Concerns about God

Feelings – Unable to Feel

Feeling Low

Feeling Worse, Rather than Better

Feelings, Understanding &/Or Coping with them

Finding a Counselor/Therapist

Flashbacks, Bad Memories & Nightmares

Forgetting Things

Forgiving One’s Abuser & Others – see Anger

Forgiving Yourself

Fragment or Fully Human?

Frightened

Gay Alters

Gender Issues: Alters Thinking They’re the Opposite Sex

God – Fears & Concerns about God

God – Why Emphasize Him?

Grief

Guilt

Hating Your Alters

Hating Yourself

Haven, Creating a Safe Place

Headaches

Heaven, Sending Alters to Heaven

Heal, how to

Healing, the Importance of

Hide – When Alters Hide

Homosexuality

Hope, Need Some

Host

Human – Alters Who See Themselves as Not Human

Human Support

Imagination, Using it to Facilitate Healing

Imprisoning Alters (Keeping Dangerous Alters out of Harm’s Way)

Incest

Inner Pain, Healing from

Inner World, Creating a Safe, Healthy One

Insane – Fearing You’re Going Insane

Insomnia, Sleep Problems

Integration

Introject Alter

Jesus, the Alter’s Alter

Jesus – Why Involve Jesus/God?

Journaling

Justice, Wanting

Lies

Lies Abusers Tell – Exposing Them

Little Alters (Older than Babies) or see Baby Alters

Losing Abilities or Alters

Loss of Time

Love, God’s Love Special for You

Low Self-Esteem

Marital Relations

Marriage

Masturbation/Porn

Memories – Bad Memories, Flashbacks & Nightmares

Memories – False Memories

Memory, Poor – Forgetting Things

Memory – Unable to Recall Trauma

Merging – Integration

Missing: When Abilities or Alters Vanish

Name – Importance of Naming Alters

Negativity – Not Expecting your Life to Get Better

New Alters – Creating New Alters

Nightmares

Non-Christian Alters

Non-human – Alters Who See Themselves as Non-Human

Numb – Feeling Emotionally Numb

Occult Alters

Opposite Sex, Alters Thinking They’re the Opposite Sex

Pain, Inner – Healing from

Pain, Physical

Painting

Pessimism – Little Hope for a Bright Future

Play, Toys & Dolls

Porn/Masturbation

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Potty Training Issues

Programming

Protector Alters

Regressing – Getting Worse, Not Better

Responsibility

Restraining Alters (Keeping Dangerous Alters out of Harm’s Way)

Relationships, Complications in Relating to People

Revenge – Wanting Revenge

Ritual Abuse

Safe place, Creating one for alters

Sadistic/Satanic Ritual Abuse

Self-Esteem, Low

Self-Harm

Self-Hate

Sending Alters to God/Heaven

Sex – Inappropriate Sexual Cravings or Behavior

Sex – Gender

Sex – Marital Relations

Sexual Abuse – Healing From

Silent – When Alters Don’t Speak

Sin

Sickness, Physical – Complications with D.I.D.

Sleep Problems, Insomnia

Sleeper Alters

Speechless Alters

Squabbles/Arguments between Alters

SRA

Stories for Child Alters

Subhuman – Alters Who See Themselves as Less Than Human

Suicide

Switching

Talk – When Alters Can’t Talk

Teamwork Among Alters

Temptation

Therapist

Time, Loss of

Toilet Difficulties

Toys, Dolls & Play

Trials, Discouragement – the Benefits of Hard Times

Triggers

Trust Issues

Unchristian Alters

Unforgivable – Feeling Unforgivable

Unity Among Alters

“Useless” Alters

Weird” Alters

Wicked Alters

Wicked – Thinking of Oneself as Wicked/Evil

Witchcraft

Worse – Getting Worse, Not Better

Young Alters

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

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Emergency Support for Multiple Personality Disorder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

 

Quick Help for Dissociative Identity Disorder Emergencies

 

 

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Hard to Alphabetize Issues

Who am I? (Genuinely unsure.)

What is Dissociative Identity Disorder?

An uncontrollable alter planning something dangerous

How can I explain Dissociative Identity Disorder in an easily understood way that will help people respect me and not think I’m weird?

Despising your alters or the fact that you have D.I.D.

Coping with the loss of a counselor/support person

How can I be sure I have D.I.D.? Is it just my imagination?

When it is unspiritual to refuse human help

Alters who see themselves as someone or something they are not. (The might even assume the identity of their abuser.)

Fearing your future will be filled with disappointments, new sources of pain etc.

Are alters real people?

The key to relief: discovering what mistaken beliefs are tormenting an alter

How can I discover and communicate with my alters?

Why you desperately need every alter

The security, comfort & wisdom of letting Jesus support and guide you through a crisis

Creating a safe haven for alters to retreat to

Sending alters to God

Overly worried about other people’s problems

When what seems to be God, Jesus or an angel is fake

If I tell anyone about what happened to me, I’ll never be believed

Alters who see themselves as less than or Better than human

Feelings/Emotions that seem to come from nowhere

When alters can’t speak

How despising yourself can hinder your healing

When something upsets you more than one would expect

Believing yourself to be a liar

I seem to be getting worse!

Too attached to someone?

The danger of alters not knowing that past abuse has ended

Alters believing they are bound to Satan forever

When just some alters seem to have a physical disability

Alters who come out only in extreme situations – known as Sleeper Alters

Headaches, feeling faint, etc caused by switching alters

Feeling like I’m watching myself

Still Can’t Find It?

1. Use the program with which you are viewing this webpage to search the entire webpage (usually accessed on the top of the screen by clicking Edit, then Find).

2. Check Hurting? Help, Answers, Support, Hope

3. Last resort: Exhaustive Search

 

 

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When an Alter is Seriously Planning Suicide or Something Dangerous

1. For Immediate Action

    [*]

    Early on, alters often do not realize they share their body with you and other parts and so have no idea that harming themselves or any part of you would harm every part of you. This might take some explaining as it might initially be a difficult concept for your alter to grasp (see Explaining D.I.D. to Alters) but once grasped it could lessen the danger.

    [*]

    When you think the alter might not be present, hide knives, pills, keys, money and other things that could be used to directly harm yourself or to gain access to things that could harm you. Once hidden, the chances are that the alter will not be able to find them.

    [*]

    It is not ideal, but it might be possible to temporarily confine this alter within you so that he/she cannot harm you or other alters. See Restraining Alters to Protect Oneself and then return here for further help.

    [*]

    Next to God, your greatest source of help is always your alters. So do everything you can to elicit their help in this situation.

    So as not to freak them, try to keep as calm as possible, but inform all of your alters of the situation. Ask them to be kind and gentle towards the alter who is creating the emergency and help them understand that the alter is deeply hurting and confused and is trying to do his/her best in a situation he/she finds overwhelming, even though in reality things are not nearly as bad as the alter supposes.

    It is quite likely that some of your alters know of other alters they have not yet told you about, so ask them to spread the word to as many other alters as they can. When you are asleep or oblivious to what is happening, some of your alters are likely to be alert, thus enabling them to be your eyes, ears and hands; waking you and warning you, or otherwise intervening, if the alter is about to do something dangerous.

    Seek their ideas as to how to deal with the situation. Some alters could be better than you at identifying which alter is the source of this danger and/or be better able to communicate with that alter. They might also know more than you about what is driving the alter to act this way, or be better than you at guessing what it could be, or, through their network, be better at gleaning this information to discover from other alters additional relevant information. Some might be better than you at seeking God and receiving his wisdom and direction.

    [*]

    Brief summary of action

      Find out as much as you can about the troublesome alter, such as why he/she feels this way and then address those issues. All information about the alter has the potential to better understand him/her and so help all of you be better equipped to calm the alter.

      Can you discover what recent event triggered the alter to consider such drastic action? That could be a vital clue as to what is upsetting the alter and therefore what might be done to calm the situation.

      Don’t assume that the alter knows even basic things that are obvious to you. Quite possibly, for example, the alter is unaware of what year it is and thinks he/she is back decades ago when you were in great danger. Let the alter know how much safer he/she now is and how much things have changed for the better. Comfort the alter. Boost the alter’s self-esteem. Show that you care not merely for your safety, but for him/her. Ask if he/she feels you have let him/her down. If so, apologize and do all you can to put things right. Help the alter realize that the abuse etc was the abuser’s fault, not this alter’s fault nor that of any other alter. Ascertain lies the abuser has told the alter and then help him/her see through them.

      Having parts of you isolated from the love, wisdom, comfort and support of the rest of you is a major reason for alters being in horrific pain, so simply encouraging these alters to share and you listening to them and sympathizing with them will significantly lessen their pain. It is especially important that you help them discover that they are greatly treasured by God and that he is safe and longs to be their best friend and that Jesus suffered on the cross to be their alter, taking their pain upon himself. See Jesus, the Alter’s Alter

    [*]

    If your attempts to help the alter are insufficient or the alter cannot be identified, you might need to activate an anti-suicide plan. This has four levels, depending on the seriousness of the situation:

      (1) Break the isolation. Don’t be alone, even if it is only going to a store so that you are around people (unless this itself is triggering for you).

      (2) Call a friend and speak to him/her without mentioning the suicidal thoughts.

      (3) Tell the friend you are feeling suicidal.

      (4) Urgently call a counselor or a suicide helpline.

2. Important Help and More Details

    Regardless of how aware you are of it, you have suffered horrific things. So it understandable that parts of you could be hurting so much that they feel suicidal. The fact that you are still alive, however, proves that you are a survivor and an overcomer. And things will get better. You have commenced a healing journey. It will be bumpy at times but you are on the way to peace and fulfillment. Nevertheless, parts of you are almost certainly unaware of these positives and know only of the times when things were horrific. Some are also driven to drastic measures because they mistakenly think their abuser will do even worse things to you if they don’t do things that hurt or harm you; not realizing that the abuser no longer has (or perhaps never had) the power to carry out his/her threats. Continually informing your alters of these positive things will do much to calm them.

    Self-esteem is a key issue. It is not uncommon for alters to have such abysmal self-esteem that they do not even think they are human (for an explanation and help, see “Weird” Alters? When Alters See Themselves as Someone or Something They are Not). If they think of themselves as not part of the human race, they will be less motivated to display (or even think themselves capable of) the kindness, gentleness and so on that humans are capable of. Instead, they are more likely to act like animals, machines, demons or whatever being treated cruelly has led them to think of themselves as being.

    How they see themselves will also greatly influence their ability to believe that they are capable of being loved and valued by God and anyone other than abusers. Helping them realize that they are of great value to you and to God and capable of achieving great things will obviously increase their desire to live. For help with this, see Low Self-Esteem. Before you better understood Dissociative Identity Disorder you probably contributed to the alter’s low self-esteem by despising him/her or trying to suppress or ignore him/her, thereby treating the alter as if he/she is nothing or unimportant. If so, you should begin to undo the damage by apologizing to him/her and show that you have totally changed your attitude.

    Resolving the issue of blame is also critically important. We humans are strongly driven to assign blame. Alters who blame themselves (a mistaken view often strongly reinforced by abusers) are likely to have little desire to live and/or low self-esteem and little hope of achieving anything worthwhile in life. It is also common for alters to blame other alters. They are usually not aware that this is a form of self-blame, but it could drive them to want to hurt or kill a part of you. If they blame God, this will cut themselves off from their Healer and the ultimate source of love and wisdom that they desperately need. For invaluable help with resolving the blame issue (regardless of who is blamed), see Thinking of Yourself as Bad/Evil/Unforgivable and links.

    To children, abusers are typically seen as sources of authoritative truth. This makes alters highly vulnerable to accepting the abuser’s lies and values. They might, for instance, have been taught that they have given their lives to Satan and so cannot have God’s love and acceptance, or that Jesus approved of them being abused. Helping alters see through the lies can be very important. See Discovering What Mistaken Beliefs are Tormenting an Alter.

    As already alluded to, until confirmed, do not assume the misguided alter knows even the most basic things. The alter might, for example, be terrified of an abuser’s punishment; oblivious to the fact that the abuser no longer has any access to you. The alter might have no idea of good things that have happened to you over the years and of how much you now have to live for and how that there is more reason for hope than there was when you were a child. Gently correcting any such misunderstanding could do much to diffuse the situation.

    Some of the following suggestions are extreme and might not necessarily work but desperate times call for desperate measures.

    If you would be safest in your house and an alter wants to leave it to do something dangerous, you could consider deadlocking yourself into your room or house and hiding the key from the alter. The problem is that you might later switch alters and be unable to remember where the key is when it is genuinely important for you to leave. You would need to prepare for this possibility. Perhaps you could leave a spare key with a friend or you could tell the friend where the key is hidden and in an emergency you could contact him/her so that he/she can relay this information to you. Another possibility is to use a combination lock or keypad to lock yourself in and tell your friend what the number sequence is. Or store the vital information in a password protected file. Of course, this depends on you being able to remember at least some things. If the main danger is during a certain time period (such as nights) another possibility might be to arrange for a friend to email you or phone you with the information after that period has lapsed.

    In emergencies, taking a large but safe dose of sleeping pills might knock out not just you but the alter who could do something dangerous at night.

    For further help see:

              Suicide: A Compassionate Bible-Based Search for Answers

              There’s Hope! A Sane Guide to Finding Hope When There is No Hope

              Additional help continues below for several sections.

 

 

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Evil Alters

Some alters enforce the values of the abuser simply because it was once the only way to protect the entire system from being severely punished by the abuser and they are not aware that they are no longer subject to the abuser. Certain alters go even further and take on the abuser’s entire identity so that they actually believe that they are that person. For more on this, see Introject Alters.

It is not unusual for some alters to crave sex – sometimes even grossly perverse sex – even though other alters sharing the same body hate and/or fear it. For help with this, see Inappropriate Sexual Cravings or Behavior.

Still other alters might be convinced they are forever bound to the devil. Despite the slanderous lies they might have been taught about him, however, Jesus is safe and he can completely rescue every such alter and break the power of every vow or deal made with evil. Because Jesus is not an abuser, he will not force any of us to be good but he is powerfully able and eager to save all who want it, no matter what they did or committed themselves to in the past.

The stark truth that few people face is that without Christ, even the most saintly of us is hopelessly evil. None of us, however, need remain without Christ, and with him we can become pure and good and able to be an immense blessing.

God’s Word is emphatic that we all belonged to the kingdom of darkness and were slaves to evil but slaves can be bought and sold, and Jesus has bought you by paying the ultimate price of his own life. Because Jesus is not an abuser, however, he gives you the choice: by submitting to Jesus you can be free of evil and rule over it or, if you prefer, you can break his heart and choose to let evil forces dominate you.

A very helpful, compassionate webpage – especially for alters who are into witchcraft, satanism and demonic practices – is When Christians have Anti-Christian Alters.

For help with learning how to be free from demons and powerful evil forces, see:

          Spiritual Warfare: Turning Spiritual Attack into Victory

          Demons: You can Beat Them

          Imaginary Friends (although not stated there, the person involved had D.I.D.)

For more help, keep reading below for several sections.

 

 

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Alters Hurting Other Alters

Until you gain a deep understanding of alters, you might think it madness to always think the best of them. Nevertheless, the Christlike attitude of striving to see them in the best possible light will end up bringing rich rewards.

It might well seem as if a particular alter is your worst possible enemy. Despite appearances, however, alters actually try their best to be helpful. The tragedy is that they have been left terribly misinformed as to what actually helps. Having been cut off from critical information that you have gained by maturing, they have had no alternative but to accept as truth atrocious lies told them by abusers in an attempt to intimidate, manipulate and confuse them.

A common reason for alters hurting other alters is that they are desperately trying to protect you, or other alters, from the abuser’s wrath or punishment by enforcing rules set by your former abuser. Their goal is not to hurt you but to spare you from being exposed to the abuser’s wrath and punishment.

Obviously, what motivates this behavior is the alter believing that the abuser can still enforce his/her threats. If this belief is no longer valid, gently explain this to the alter. The alter might need a fair bit of proof. Showing the alter today’s date would be a good start.

Alters physically hurting you could simply be a form of self-harm, in which case, see Self-Harm.

An alter might cruelly treat another because he/she blames the abuse on an alter being weak or duped when, in actual fact, anyone of that age or in that situation would have been overpowered or tricked. An example is an alter too young to know it was wrong who was seduced by an abuser who was gentle. This lulled the alter into having no qualms about the advances of another abuser, but this other abuser turned out to be terrifyingly aggressive. The actions of the accused alter are excusable but the alter who wants revenge needs to understand that we all stand guilty in the eyes of God and need mercy, not justice, and that God is eager to forgive the angry alter of all his/her sins as well as the alter who is being blamed.

Forgiving others becomes much easier when a person discovers that God forgives him/her. So work on helping the alter see how much God has forgiven him/her and has also forgiven the other alter.

A less common reason for an alter being malevolent is that the alter’s self-awareness has been so twisted that he/she has been tricked into thinking he or she is literally the abuser you once had. They act like a former abuser because they actually believe they are that abuser. For help with this, see How to Help Introject Alters Discover Their True Identity.

For much more help with alters who hurt other alters, see:

For still more help, keep reading below.

 

 

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Angry, Nasty, or Terrifying Alters

If this is an emergency, go immediately to Keeping Dangerous Alters out of Harm’s Way.

For help with alters in danger of acting out sexually, see Inappropriate Sexual Cravings or Behavior.

Pouring unconditional love upon a particularly obnoxious and dangerous alter until he/she changes into your loyal, trusted friend is one of the most rewarding things you can ever do. Once you commit yourself to loving the alter with Christlike persistence, the astounding transformation can occur remarkably quickly.

There is nothing more disconcerting – and dangerous – than having an enemy inside you. The only satisfactory way to end this alarming predicament is to win your enemy’s loyalty and friendship. Despising him/her or trying to use force will only increase his/her hate for you and turn the alter even more against you. Any enemy within can be won over, however, because:

    1. Even the most hardened alter is secretly desperate for your love and approval.

    2. He/she is a part of you.

Being a part of you means that he/she can see things your way if he/she has all the information you have and if you have all the information he/she has. This exchange takes place by calmly talking to each other. Gaining all the information the alter has is not only critical to your full healing by filling in gaps in your knowledge about your past suffering, it alerts you to any misinformation the alter has been fed, so that you can gently help him/her know the liberating truth. It will also help you understand him/her and so find him easier to love. Moreover – as explained below – without this critical information, you might be unknowingly doing foolish or dangerous things that are justifiably alarming and antagonizing the alter. We can only be certain of making wise and safe decisions if we have all the facts, and some of the critical information you need to make safe decisions is locked inside this alter.

Alters who are currently wreaking havoc and seem your greatest enemies are the very ones you will most benefit from befriending. Your unconditional, Christlike love for them will end up melting their love-starved, terror-driven hearts, transforming them into your greatest allies, most valuable assets and best friends. Being kind, gentle, patient, considerate, compassionate and understanding towards them is your opportunity not only for peace and healing but for spiritual growth.

It turns out that the better you understand what seem to be particularly obnoxious alters, the easier they are to love. They are worthy of immense compassion as they have been cruelly mistreated and misunderstood and they are actually doing his/her best in the midst of having been isolated, flooded with misinformation and cut off from every source of help. Moreover, they spared you much pain and trauma by bearing it instead of you.

Alters are typically so love-starved that they are quite quick to forgive if they at last see in you a change of heart but until then they might have very legitimate reasons for being furious with you. You might, for example, have thought you were acting very spiritual and “fighting the flesh” when you were actually perpetuating an alter’s abuse. Solitary confinement is renowned for being a cruel punishment, and yet by suppressing or ignoring an alter, you could have forced him/her into the equivalent of solitary confinement, not just for days or weeks or even months, but possibly for years. This is an alter who was already reeling in emotional pain and trauma, which was further intensified to almost intolerable levels by no-one believing him/her, or even offering a listening ear. Moreover, as bad as it would be to treat an adult this way, this alter, having been cut off from your understanding, has been left with nothing more to help him/her bear the torment than the intellectual and emotional resources of a child, and without your understanding of God.

And the pain you might have unknowingly inflicted on an alter could even extend way beyond this. Consider this scenario:

A mature woman suffered horrific abuse from her father throughout her childhood but her host – the alter who is most often in control – is so much in denial that she is barely aware of what happened. Her father now lives quite a distance away and she decides to visit him and stay with him for a few days. A terrified alter who is aware of the immense danger tries desperately to warn the host not to go but the host not only dismisses the alter’s concerns as ridiculous, she shuts out the alter’s protests so effectively that she hardly remembers them. “In any case,” she assures herself, “I’m an adult now and can protect myself.” The first night she is in her father’s house, he enters her bedroom and somehow triggers the host so that she loses control of her body. This forces the other alter to alone consciously suffer the horrors that follow. The host does not regain consciousness until the next day and remains oblivious of what happened. Can you understand the alter being furious with the host over her foolish disregard of the warning?

The above is just one of thousands of possible variations on this theme but it illustrates how an alter’s intense resentment of you might be far more justified than you realize, and how you could be in serious danger until you regard this alter not as an insufferable nuisance but as a friend who alone has the potential to spare you much suffering.

Other possible reasons for alters being furious at other alters might not be accurate but could seem equally real to the alter. For example, an alter might think a child was abused because the child did not fight the adult abuser hard enough. This, of course, is a failure to consider just how much stronger than the child the abuser was. Another possibility is that a little alter who knew no better was seduced by an abuser who was gentle and this lulled the alter into having no qualms about the advances of another abuser, but this other abuser turned out to be terrifyingly aggressive.

God is love. So none of us should even try to pretend to ourselves that we have begun to be godly unless we are truly loving. A key facet of love is that it bends over backward to see other people in the best possible light. Love does not judge. It forever strives to give people the benefit of the doubt. It chooses to believe the best of a person. In the words of 1 Corinthians 13, love believes all things (verse 7) and “it keeps no record of wrongs” (verse 5, NIV).

God loves his enemies. This is so fundamental and it is critical to our salvation because each of us has at one time been God’s enemy. Over and over the Bible says we, who so desperately need God’s forgiveness, are to do our utmost to forgive others. So for many vital spiritual reasons – to say nothing about it being essential for your own healing and emotional well-being – you need to be loving and forgiving and understanding. This process of being like God must begin with your attitude towards your alters, including those parts of you that currently infuriate you or seem to endanger you. This involves all of the fruit of the Spirit – being kind, gentle, patient, compassionate, and so on.

We need to start living such Scriptures as:

    Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

    Romans 12:17-19,21 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. . . . If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge . . . Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

    1 Peter 3:9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

For more help with difficult alters, read (if you have not already done so), these sections of this webpage:

Also see:

Real-life exchanges between a counselor and hateful alters, demonstrating how gentle, loving exchanges transform alters, see:

 

 

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Keeping Dangerous Alters out of Harm’s Way

As much as possible, alters must not be restrained, but gently reasoned with and shown so much love and tenderness that they want to please you. You and your alters (including this one) have already suffered far too much bullying. Every part of you desperately needs love and kindness and understanding. (For more on the importance of giving alters as much freedom as practical, see Advice From a Protector Alter.)

However, sometimes an alter is not just annoying or embarrassing, but highly dangerous. This could necessitate temporarily restraining the alter so that he/she cannot take over the body or hurt other alters.

Just as it is possible to use one’s powerful imagination to create a safe internal place for an alter, one can fit strong external locks to keep the alter there. Confining dangerous alters to a place where they cannot cause harm is an extension of the individual places of retreat described in A Safe Haven for Alters to Retreat to.

In the index at the beginning of this webpage, I use the word prison because it might help some people who think in those terms to find this section, but even though the alter is likely to initially object to being briefly restrained, I consider the term so misleading as to be inappropriate. It should not to be thought of as a prison, nor a punishment. It is very temporary protective custody in a place that is made as comfortable and cozy as possible. It is a place to heal that will also keep other alters safe. It should be the nicest, happiest place possible under the circumstances. It might, for example, be a fairly large area with lots of beautiful, entertaining things inside, surrounded by plate glass walls allowing the alter to see and hear the rest of the internal world. The glass should be one way, however, so that only authorized alters only see and hear the one inside by pressing a button. This is for the protection of vulnerable alters outside the protected zone.

There are several dangers with confining any alter, however:

    [*] The alter might be forgotten about, either because the alter who put the alter there goes into hiding, taking the knowledge with him/her, or simply because once the situation is stabilized one feels less pressured to deal with the matter.

    [*] The alter is already angry and the main reason why he/she remains such a danger is that he/she has been cut off from the rest of you. It is not in your interest to perpetuate or even inflame this.

    [*] You need every alter.

Because of these issues:

    [*] Confinement should be avoided if at all possible.

    [*] It should be a very temporary arrangement.

    [*] Other alters should be informed about this alter so that he/she is not forgotten.

    [*] Alters who are emotionally strong enough to do so, need to speak with the alter as often as possible, helping him/her come up to speed with current circumstances (how much safer life is now than it used to be, etc) and helping the alter learn about Jesus – that he is stronger than evil and wants to remove all guilt and to be the alter’s best friend, and so on.

Not only is it critical that the confined alter not be forgotten, but working towards removing the need for confinement must be top priority so that the alter is there for a minimum time – typically only a day or so.

Usually, the alter has been duped into thinking that hurting other alters is a regrettable necessity, but with your help, within a day or so the alter should calm down and realize there is no need to hurt others and that all promiscuous or dangerous behavior must cease.

Release the alter as soon as you are sure that he/she is no longer a danger to himself/herself or to others and that the alter understands the importance of not taking over the body without the permission of alters who are more experienced in safely relating to the outside world. The alter is not to be released, however, until all the other alters agree that it is safe to do so. This is to stop the alter inside from tricking an inexperienced alter into releasing him/her prematurely. Some sort of compromise will need to be worked out if some alters remain scared of this alter even though he/she is now safe.

See also Angry, Nasty, or Terrifying Alters.

 

 

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Anti-Christian Alters

Jesus treasured you and gave his life for you long before you ever became a Christian. Now it’s your turn to follow his lead by loving your alter and believing in him/her now, even before that alter discovers that Jesus is the most wonderful friend and not the hateful enemy he/she has been tricked into believing Jesus to be. The alter will be much easier to love after he/she changed but what glory is there for you in that? “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them” (Luke 6:32). Moreover, the alter is unlikely to change unless you love him/her before he/she changes.

In my section about journaling, I wrote:

    Don’t censor language or anger or even blasphemies that offend your Christian sensitivities. Understand that rather than trying to force alters to act as if they were Christian, the most powerful thing you can do spiritually is to tap the depths of their depravity so that eventually you can gently lift them up to Jesus. Your mission must be to help them fall in love with Jesus so that they end up so spiritually transformed that they want to delight God. Trying to suppress or force or manipulate them will only hinder their spiritual advancement and, ultimately, your own. And for you to lead them to Jesus, you must first get to know and understand them and win their trust. And this is what journaling is all about.

    Include in your journal lots of questions you would like answered about God, your past, about why you do certain things, and so on. Also include regular indications that you would like alters’ feedback and contributions.

Don’t think that an anti-Christian alter could keep you out of heaven. If you were to die still having some parts of you opposed to Jesus, those fractured parts of you would instantly heal and by doing so they would gain your understanding of, and love for, Christ.

For encouragement, see “I Kept Trying to Force God to Reject Me”. Although not specifically mentioned in the testimony, this friend of mine has D.I.D. and much of his repeated rejection of God was initiated by his alters, but God remained steadfastly faithful.

A very helpful, compassionate webpage – especially for alters who are into witchcraft, satanism and demonic practices – is When Christians have Anti-Christian Alters.

See also:

 

 

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Inappropriate Sexual Cravings or Behavior

It is not unusual for some alters to crave sex – sometimes even quite perverted sex – even though other alters sharing the same body hate and/or fear it. There is an important link at the end of this section (called Healing an Alter’s Dangerous Lust for Sex) but first some general information.

Often people/alters crave sexual encounters only because they crave love and approval and have been brainwashed by their abuser’s lies that they cannot receive love and approval any other way. Precious parts of you have been starved of love. As it says in Proverbs 27:7 “. . . to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.”

Abusers exploit children who have been starved of unconditional love and they do all they can to crush their self-esteem until they think they are of no value except as sex objects. Through word and/or action, they are forced to the devastating conclusion that they could never be loved and that they have no alternative but settle for the attention received by degrading themselves sexually.

Abusers do all they can to confuse the notions of love and sex, making them think that sexual abuse and exploitation is love. Parts of you have been cut off from your insight that has enabled you to see through these lies. So these parts need you to gently, patiently and lovingly explain the truth to them. And both in lessening sexual cravings and in skyrocketing self-esteem, they will immensely benefit from discovering how loved of God they are.

For help with this, see:

Sex addicts might convince themselves that they love sex but don’t take this at face value. Many years ago, when the dangers of smoking were less publicized, psychologists brought together a group of smokers. They asked the smokers to describe how much they liked smoking and then subjected them to a strong presentation on the dangers of smoking. A follow-up study revealed that those who kept on smoking despite increased awareness of the danger, claimed to enjoy smoking more than ever.

People who think they are hopeless slaves to a particular sin or habit typically do their best to fool themselves into thinking they are enjoying their bondage. So the first step in helping these alters is to teach them that God is able and willing to set them free from any bondage. Help them realize that God loves them and longs to heal them and that his healing is a far better and safer alternative to sex.

For more help, see:

Inappropriate sexual cravings or behavior could be a form of self-harm (in which case, see Self-Harm) or (especially in the case of masturbation) it might be an attempt to dull the pain by mixing traumatic memories with pleasure. Viewing porn might likewise be an attempt to desensitize oneself. Both self-harm and attempts at desensitization are understandable and are likely to have been driven by desperation. Nevertheless, such behavior is likely to traumatize certain other alters. You might be consciously unaware of what it is doing to them but ultimately, if one part of you suffers it ends up adversely affecting you all.

The other important issue is that such behavior corrupts a person and is sexually damaging. For example, the mixing of perversion (such as violence) with pleasure further perverts one’s sexuality. You have already suffered greatly because of a pervert, so let that motivate you to not in any way become one yourself, even if the perversion is not acted out with anyone.

It is tempting to fall into defeatism by telling yourself that you are already ruined, but this is a lie. If you give God a chance, your ability to heal is amazing. Moreover, God forgives and cleanses. He sees you as being purer than the purest virgin (if that virgin has not been cleansed from her sin).

Here’s a particularly useful link: Healing an Alter’s Dangerous Lust for Sex.

See also Gay Alters.

 

 

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Dissociative Identity Disorder Explained

When people suffer something so horrible that their mind recoils from the very thought of it, we can understand their mind trying to suppress all memory of the event. A simple blocking of the past would not work, however, if a person were continually reminded of the trauma by, for example, the trauma being repeated every few days. When the trauma is on-going, the mind has to employ a more sophisticated approach to maintaining sanity by giving itself as big a reprieve as possible whenever the trauma is not occurring. The mind divides itself so that part of it is kept unaware of the bad times. That way, whenever the bad times are not occurring, part of the mind can function without being oppressed by an awareness of the horrors that occurred yesterday nor by the paralyzing fear that the horrors might be repeated tomorrow.

Additional sources of trauma can cause further fragmenting of the mind. The advantage of fragmentation is that the mind-crippling task of trying to cope with an awareness of everything at once is broken down into smaller, though still highly challenging, pieces. It is not only memories that are divided up, but with them go other intellectual abilities as well. Some abilities can be replicated in another part of the brain, just like right-handed people can further develop the side of their brain that controls their left hand so that they can write with their left hand almost as well as with their right. Not all abilities are replicated, however. Some parts of the person end up with skills that other parts do not have. As a result, people with Dissociative Identity Disorder are usually more skilled than they realize until they become fully aware of all their other parts.

Previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder, the newer term sounds like gobbledygook but it is actually more meaningful than it first seems. If you were suffering, you might make it more tolerable by seeking to lessen your awareness of your current situation and imagining you were somewhere nice. This is called dissociation and although it would not stop all pain, it is likely to genuinely help. Instead of thinking of yourself as being somewhere else, an alternative is to think of yourself as being someone else – someone who is never subjected to this distress. That is called taking on a dissociative identity. This would become an obvious choice if, for example, you were a little child singled out for severe beatings simply because of who you are – the child of an abusive parent.

This coping mechanism becomes a disorder – a disadvantage rather than an advantage – if part of you got trapped in that dissociative state and could not return to normality even when external circumstances become normal. Becoming permanently disconnected from part of yourself would not be because of an inadequacy in you but because of the severity and prolonged nature of the trauma you suffered and because it began in your formative years.

On-going disconnection could occur if, for example, you remained too scared to let yourself remember what happened when you were in that dissociated state. Being unable to access unpleasant memories might superficially seem desirable but it is likely to keep you from ever healing from those memories. How could anyone resolve a problem that he refuses to think about? To live in denial is to let a problem grow. Moreover, you would probably lose not only access to certain memories but to skills you had developed while you were in that state and to certain intellectual potential that this part of you has. So remaining disconnected would prevent you from being as consistently skilled as you have the potential to be and keep you from accessing the full extent of your intellectual capacity.

If you have Dissociative Identity Disorder, healing involves reconnecting with those parts of you that had become disconnected from you. False healing occurs if a person is still disconnected but mistakenly supposes nothing is missing, simply because the person has lost all awareness of disconnected parts.


As a child’s brain grows it becomes increasingly rigid and the ability to compartmentalize itself through Dissociative Identity Disorder is lost if the process is not initiated by around about seven years of age. If someone learns the technique when young, however, the person can continue further compartmentalizing his/her brain later in life.

Far from being freaks, people with D.I.D. have, from an early age, stumbled upon an ingenious mental strategy for coping with situations that are almost beyond human endurance. It is an emergency response to an extreme situation, however. There are significant disadvantages to remaining fragmented, such as the inability to simultaneously draw upon one’s full intellectual resources to solve problems and heal from trauma.

Not as Weird as You Think

An older term for Dissociative Identity Disorder is Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD). Regardless of name, its existence has been recognized by researchers at least as early as the 1800s.

See also:

 

 

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Explaining Dissociative Identity Disorder to Alters

Through no fault of your own you suffered something very traumatic. It is probably your first memory. This was so upsetting that it caused a temporary form of amnesia. With this type of memory loss you don’t forget all of the past, only part of it. In fact, you recall some of the past so vividly that it seems to be much more recent than it actually is. It’s rather like being Rip Van Winkle, who slept for years and when he woke up what seemed like yesterday was actually many years ago and the world had moved on without him being aware of it. It might be, for instance, that today’s date is much later than you suppose. What year do you think this is? I can show you a calendar or newspaper to prove to you the correct date if you wish. You probably also lost memory of your life before the trauma. Even if you have a good memory up until the present, there are probably many years of childhood memories that you are currently cut off from.

You are presently conscious of an important, irreplaceable part of you, but there is more to you than you are presently aware of. You have memories that you cannot currently access because the trauma you suffered caused you to become disconnected from the rest of yourself. You disconnected in a courageous attempt to protect the rest of you from dealing with the upsetting experience you suffered, but since that event the rest of you has gained information and skills that will comfort you and allow you to heal. Though you have fractured, this brokenness can be restored. Other parts of you can tell you things about you that you currently don’t know. Better still, those memories and skills you have temporarily lost will become your very own when you reconnect with the rest of you. Other parts of you might seem like other people but they share your body.

This disconnectedness has previously caused isolated parts of you to have little awareness of you, or little understanding of who you are. This lack of understanding could have caused them to treat you with less love and respect than you deserve. If so, this is most unfortunate, and they probably already regret their mistake and as they get to know you they will certainly regret any hurt they have caused.

Helping Younger Alters Understand

You know that something very scary happened to you. It was such a shock that it is as if a part of you fell into a deep sleep, like sometimes happens when someone has been hit hard on the head. You are now awake, of course, but while you were sleeping another part of you stayed awake each day and kept growing. You were asleep for so long that what seems like yesterday was actually years ago. Things that you have feared have gone forever and you are now very safe.

You are now as strong as a grownup, and God – who can do anything – has become your best friend. He loves you so much and if you let him he’ll take away your pain and make you happy.

I can tell you some of the good things that have happened since you were asleep, but there is something even better. In time, you will be able to join up with the part of you that stayed awake so that all that has happened while you were sleeping will become your memories and you will be as smart as a grown up and good at all the things the awake part of you learned while growing up.

See also:

 

 

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Who am I?

It is distressing but not unusual for people with D.I.D. to suddenly not know who they are. If you are feeling this way now and have found yourself here, is very likely that there is more to you than you realize – that there are parts of you that you have not yet connected with who are more experienced and very capable and have been looking after you. It is also very possible that very many years have passed without your awareness and that you are now safer than you dare dream.

For help, see Explaining D.I.D. to Alters (above).

See also Confused.

 

 

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The Surprising Power of Journaling

Keeping a journal is an excellent way to make contact with alters and to come to grips with deep issues in one’s life. Let’s begin with a list of the benefits:

    [*] Like working on a jigsaw, a journal can bring together all possible clues about forgotten events and what might be troubling you. Moreover, even without the memory problems commonly associated with D.I.D., some clues – such as fleeting thoughts and dreams – are, by their very nature, quickly forgotten unless almost instantly written down.

    [*] A journal is insurance against losing valuable information. At almost any moment, the host or other alters might suddenly be triggered or overwhelmed and retreat to some inaccessible place deep within, taking their knowledge with them. This means that unless you are quite advanced in your healing you can alarmingly lose all memory of things you would never expect to forget until that part of you resurfaces. Of course, included in what could possibly be lost for who knows how long is all the information you have been painstakingly accumulating about alters and clues about your past.

    [*] Alters themselves might end up reading and contributing to your journal.

    [*] A journal might even move beyond rare entries by an elusive alter to becoming like a message pad, allowing you to communicate back and forth with one or more alters. Such communication might involve a time delay and this delay can sometimes be advantageous. Let me explain:

      “When alters are with me, I am overwhelmed with severe anxiety, sadness and turmoil,” complained a woman when detailing why she was making so little progress in speaking with her alters.

      “What you feel at such times is a normal consequence of Dissociative Identity Disorder,” I replied sympathetically. “When alters are close, you feel their emotions and these dear parts of you are currently in such inner pain, fear and confusion as to be almost brain-numbing for anyone hit by the full intensity of these feelings. It’s no wonder that you find yourself unable to communicate at such times. One of the things making journaling so helpful is that it can let an alter express herself/himself and then withdraw, allowing you to later read the alter’s words and respond with a helpful message to the alter when you are more clear-headed.”

Let’s move on to some helpful tips about journaling.

Keep your journal private. You might at some time choose to share a small extract with a therapist, but essentially it is for your eyes only. Even if you trust your partner, you might later discover a part who has not reached this level of trust. Secrecy inspires honesty. And God loves honesty. He is not afraid of truth nor surprised about your deepest doubts and concerns. So let go of inhibitions and pour out your heart – your feelings, your fears, frustrations, suspicions, childhood memories, how you feel about family members, and so on. Whether it comes in drips or gushes, don’t evaluate its accuracy or in any way analyze it – you can do that another time. Abandon attempts to correct it grammatically. Just let it flow. Don’t even censor language or anger or even blasphemies that offend your Christian sensitivities. Understand that rather than trying to force alters to act as if they were Christian, the most powerful thing you can do spiritually is to tap the depths of their depravity so that eventually you can gently lift them up to Jesus. Your mission must be to help them fall in love with Jesus so that they end up so spiritually transformed that they want to delight God. Trying to suppress or force or manipulate them will only hinder their spiritual advancement and, ultimately, your own. And for you to lead them to Jesus, you must first get to know and understand them and win their trust. And this is what journaling is all about.

Dreams and flashbacks can be exceedingly unpleasant, so don’t waste them. They contain valuable information, so record them. The obvious place for this is in your journal. Writing them out and thinking about them when relaxed and fully conscious can help remove some of their terror and might possibly prove beneficial, should the dream recur. The practice also provides a good opportunity to ask alters about the dream or flashback – what does it mean to them, how do they feel about it, and so on.

Dreams can sometimes be like flashbacks – accurate memories of past events that you may or may not be aware happened. Alternatively, some dreams are the mind trying to come to terms with things that have been bothering you. Sometimes you were not even conscious that these matters were bothering you. Both of these types of dreams can be valuable in giving you insight into what some of your alters might be coping with. However, some dreams can actually be alters seeking to communicate with you, either by symbolically revealing how they feel or by sharing accurate memories. Additionally, some dreams are alters trying to come to terms with things by imagining themselves in various scenarios.

Include in your journal lots of questions you would like answered about God, your past, about why you do certain things, and so on. Also include regular indications that you would like alters’ feedback and contributions.

Different alters are likely to be active at different times of the day or night and can be triggered by different events into hiding or becoming active. To make the most of this, try to journal at various times of the day and night and maintain this practice over a long period, preferably indefinitely. Keep the journal handy throughout the day, and especially by your bed at night. If you are reluctant to take it to work, that’s not too critical because shy alters are more likely to be active at other times. However, some thoughts could come to you when you are at work that are worth jotting down so that you can copy it into your journal later.

Every now and then, read through all you have written. Even if you get no response, try discussing their content with alters.

Some entries might use different (often more child-like) spelling and grammar to what you would normally use, or the content might surprise you. If handwritten, you might notice a different handwriting style. It might take months for anything significant to appear but keep it up.

Try to make a copy of what you journal and store the copy elsewhere because it is quite possible that at some point an alter might destroy it in a cleaning spree or a moment of panic. Possibilities for creating a copy include photocopying, scanning or typing it into a computer and putting a copy on a USB (thumb) drive.

Retain copies of such things as emails that you send, and treat them as additional sources of information. If you already have writings from the past – even if it is just such things as old e-mails to friends or counselors – treasure them. They can end up being valuable sources of information.

In the hope that the message eventually gets through to relevant alters, your journal should be interspersed with several entries emphatically stating the current calendar year. Merely writing today’s date is unlikely to suffice. For example, a number beginning with 20 might not even seem like a date to an alter used to seeing years starting with 19. Learning that it is many years later than he or she had supposed is likely to be such mind-boggling information for an alter as to stagger belief. You should therefore include instructions as to how this can be verified, such as where a calendar is located. You might also paste in your journal a portion of a newspaper that mentions the date, and so on.

Since, unknown to you, an alter could be terrified of a former abuser’s threats, list in your journal every reason why it is now safe to tell. Reasons might include the fact that you now have an adult body, that you are no longer financially dependent on your parents and you live independently, that some people (name them) from your past have died or are now feeble or live a long way from you or they do not know your present address or you have not seen them for a certain number of years (be specific). Provide as much proof as you can, such as an obituary or photo of a grave if the person is dead. Remember that people you are currently convinced were safe, might have actually terrified your alters.

Another important message to include is that unless they give you their permission, you will not blab anything that alters reveal. If they cannot trust you to maintain their confidentiality, do not expect to hear from them. Yes, it might be nice if you could pass on the information to a counselor/therapist but you will never get any more information to pass on if you betray them. By all means, after they reveal themselves, try to persuade them to give permission, but say nothing until they agree.

In addition to recording the above matters in several places in your journal, keep reminding yourself (preferably out loud at times) of these facts, especially at times when you feel on edge. One of the times that you do this an alter could be listening for whom this information will remove the pressure to keep secrets from you.

List in your journal good things that have happened and how things have improved since they were last out and keep reminding yourself of these things from time to time.

A shared journal is important but, in addition, reserving journals for the private use of individual alters can also be beneficial. Another friend of mine with Dissociative Identity Disorder writes:

    We offer a drawing pad/journal/notebook to alters that they can keep private from the rest of us if they wish. We have a basket of journals. Sometimes we share but we never read without permission. Often alters who had been asleep for years journal a lot privately for the first bit before they start really sharing with us in other ways. It’s kind of like learning you can trust the others by making sure they keep their promises in not reading what you write.

 

 

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Sexual Abuse – Healing From

For a vast amount of support and encouragement on healing from sexual abuse, see Comfort, Understanding & Healing for Abuse Survivors.

 

 

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About the Host

The host is that part of a person who most often relates to the outside world. This is not necessarily the same part throughout a person’s life. A crisis might cause a host to go deep inside for many years, forcing another alter to fill the role.

It is tempting to think of the host as the ‘real person’ but a person is actually the sum of all of his/her parts, including alters that are as yet unknown. The host is often thought of as the most mature and capable part of a person but this is only because other parts have not yet had the opportunity to fully develop and reveal their abilities.

It is also tempting to think of the host as the most important part of a person but this is inaccurate. It is much more helpful to regard each part as irreplaceable and worthy of equal love and attention. In fact, as a baby usually receives more attention than other members of a family and might grow up to be more capable and ‘important’ than other members, so it is with alters.

 

 

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Who are Alters?

Alters are often called personalities. Therapists commonly refer to each disconnected part of a person that has its own consciousness as an alternate personality, though they can also refer to them as alter egos or alter identities. These terms are usually shortened to alter (spelled with an e). In some ways, this term is unfortunate because it sounds like altar, which has scary connotations for some whose trauma had religious (often satanic) overtones. Some people use the term insider but this, too, is confusing because any of these parts has the potential to relate to the outside world. Sometimes they are referred to as dissociated parts.

Alters might not necessarily believe they have all the abilities of a full human. Some might even be convinced they are an animal or an object or a headless body or a ghost or whatever. Nevertheless, all alters have the potential to discover they are able to have a full range of human emotions and do everything we associate with humans.

Alters deserve to be regarded as fully human, and this is important for their healing. For more on this see, Should alters be regarded as real people.

For more about who alters are, see Dissociative Identity Disorder Explained.

For help in discovering or contacting alters, see How to Find Every Alter & Get Each Alter to Talk.

 

 

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Why You Desperately Need Every Alter

Without your every alter, you might survive but you cannot thrive. Every alter is a precious, irreplaceable part of you, no matter how obnoxious and useless some alters might seem before they heal.

As babies are initially weak and helpless and require huge amounts of care but they grow up to develop amazing abilities and can become enormously helpful and a huge support, so it is with alters, even if they currently seem useless and nothing but trouble. Each alter is unique and a vital part of your intellectual capacity.

You can never find full healing, reach your full potential and achieve your maximum without every one of them.

Alters can be angry, hateful, dangerous, anti-God, addicted to sin, sabotage much of the good you do and/or deeply embarrass you (see links below) but, with your help, every one of them can discover God’s love and become good, kind, loving and supportive.

In Jesus’ parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), one man, instead of developing and increasing what had been entrusted to him, buried it. Your loving Lord understands the enormous pressures you have been under and there was a time when you had little option other than keeping your alters buried. Now, however, he wants you to keep pushing forward in healing until not one of your alters is buried but each is allowed to fully develop and become an active part of your daily life. Only by this can you reach your full potential and achieve the maximum for God’s glory, for your fulfillment and for the sake of all of those you will be able to bless with your enhanced abilities and wholeness.

To understand how an apparently useless or undesirable alter can become an astounding blessing to you and bring you great peace and achievement, see “Useless” Alters.

For help with alters who currently annoy you, see:

 

 

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How can I Discover and Communicate with my Alters?

See How to Find Every Alter & Get Each Alter to Talk

 

 

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Despising/Hating your Alters or the Fact that you have D.I.D.

To quote from Powerful Answers & Surprising Help for People Traumatized as Children:

    People (hosts) who are just becoming aware they have D.I.D. are often tempted to feel superior to their alters and regard them as little more than nuisances. A friend of mine, who is himself a host, beautifully corrects this mistaken notion:

      In my system, I’m the “host”. By that I mean I’m the one my alters laid their lives on the line to protect. I’m the one for whom my alters gave up so much in order to keep safe. I’m the one they held above the water, while they drowned, as it were. They gave up living in this life and held on to agonizingly painful experiences and situations so that I could survive and move on, while for years they were locked away in the dark haunted by those experiences without contact with the outside world.

      I owe them everything, and each time I communicate with any of them I do my best to treat them with the same respect that I would treat someone who lost their legs diving under a truck to save the life of one of my children. Yes, they can be very angry. Yes, they can be annoying, controlling, distracting, painful to live with, but so might someone dealing with the consequences of having lost their legs saving my child. Regardless of that anger, I would happily immerse myself in it to give them one ounce of relief, especially after what they went through for me. It’s the least I could do.

      The exciting thing is that I’ve found that as I treat them with respect and let them know that their needs are important to me by working with them on getting those needs met and allowing them time to just be themselves in a safe environment where they aren’t judged, they heal. They start to realize that those situations they held deep inside themselves have now past, and that they are now safe. As they are cared for, they start to use their skills to contribute meaningfully to our family – the whole person of whom I am a part.

      For example, I have an alter called Do, who is very fast at getting things done. He now helps when we have limited time to get things done really quickly. This morning he came out to help me get my kids ready for swimming lessons. He managed to get them completely dressed, bags packed, everything in under eight minutes. Normally that would take me around an hour.

In another webpage, I wrote:

    Do you suppose you would receive God’s approving smile if you heartlessly abandoned a deeply hurting child who was solely your responsibility and you let that little one suffer endlessly, not only refusing to comfort him/her but also preventing anyone else from emotionally supporting the child? Would you be able to stand before your eternal Judge and brazenly excuse your mistreatment by claiming the child is yours and therefore you can treat him/her however you wish? Of course not. Being your own child would merely magnify, not diminish, your responsibility. If this is true for your offspring – someone whose genes are only fifty percent yours – your responsibility would, if anything, be even graver if the child you let languish in needless pain and ignorance is your inner child. To close your heart, defiantly saying, “It’s part of me, so I can do anything I like with it,” is highly offensive to the God to whom we must all one day give account.

The above is a quote from The Spiritual & Practical Reasons Why One Must Love One’s Alters. I suggest you read the entire webpage.

See also:

 

 

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Lies

When an Alter Believes an Abuser’s Lies (next section)

When an Alter Tells Lies

    1. When ‘Lies’ Aren’t Lies

      Dissociative Identity Disorder occurs because a person feels a great need to keep upsetting truths and memories from his/her consciousness. There are times when this is an important survival technique but when it remains in place long after the emergency has passed, instead of sparing oneself pain, it ends up perpetuating pain.

      When an alter reveals something one does not want to face, an obvious way to maintain what one sub-consciously presumes is protective self-deception is to try to convince oneself that the alter is lying. It is likely to seem untrue because one has been ‘protected’ from so much information that would confirm the new fragment of truth. Furthermore, a clever way the mind often employs to help dull the impact of a traumatic experience is for one alter to store memories of only the facts about an event, and for a different alter to store memories of the deep emotions (such as fear, anger and emotional pain) generated by the event. One set of memories without the other feels unreal – it feels like a lie.

    2. When they Truly are Lies

      Sometimes alters feel the need to avoid a terrifying situation by deceiving abusers so that the abusers back off. [A biblical example of this need is when David pretended to be insane to avoid being killed by a heathen king (1 Samuel 21:10-15; Psalm 34, title).]

      Such deception is most effective when a person not only acts the part, but literally believes it. Some alters have this power. It is well known, for instance, that certain alters end up convincing themselves that they are the opposite sex, or an animal, or a stuffed toy, or a headless body, or their abuser (see Introject Alter), and so on. For example, as his personal experiment to see what he was capable of, a friend of mine asked an alter who had this ability to pretend he had a certain phobia. Immediately, my friend felt as if he were in his forties (he was nothing close to that age) with thinning hair and much shorter than he really was, and he felt real fear of something that had never before scared him. I had expected that someone with this ability could pass any lie detector. I later learned that many years ago this man had felt the need to fool a psychiatrist by telling him atrocious lies for two full days. He not only succeeded, he literally passed a lie detector test.

See also, Believing Yourself to be a Liar.

 

 

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Lies Abusers Tell – the Frequent Source of Alters’ Torment & Strange Behavior

You cannot find peace and wholeness while parts of you are tormented by guilt or shame or inferiority, or enslaved by destructive habits or evil, or are misguided, worried, hurting, frightened, angry, or filled with hate or bitterness.

Ultimately, the extent to which you are at peace depends on how much your alters are at peace, and what keeps alters distressed is that truths that would set their minds at rest have been cruelly kept from them. Much of an alter’s current distress centers less on the actual abuse than on being cruelly tricked into believing lies that, long after the abuse has ended, continue to make the alter feel condemned, hopeless, frightened and/or isolated.

Most of the misinformation has been deliberately and maliciously inflicted on the alters by the abuser, and repeatedly reinforced by him/her until the abuser’s lies seem undeniable truth. This process – virtually a form of brainwashing – is made easier by abusers accessing children rather than adults. Con artists prove how easily adults can be deceived but children are exceptionally vulnerable and almost instinctively accept as truth whatever an adult says, and even more so when terrorized.

Consider how many little children are certain that Santa Claus is real. Little ones who don’t believe in him are not smarter; they simply were not told about him by believable authority figures or they encountered someone who exposed the lie. If older people have authoritatively insisted that it is true and little children hear nothing to the contrary, they will inevitably believe what they are told, whether it be about Santa Claus, or that sexual abuse is normal or that the abuse was their fault or that the police will put them in jail if they tell the abuser’s secret, or any of a vast number of other bald-faced lies. This is an unavoidable part of being a child.

Children have to be quick to believe what they are told because their very survival hinges on believing warnings given by adults, and their intellectual development hinges on quickly absorbing vast amounts of information. It would take them excessively long to mature if they had to critically assess the accuracy of every bit of information they gain and, in any case, they start off not having the intellectual skills to do so.

This uncritical acceptance of what older children or adults tell them normally works brilliantly because they are surrounded by loving, trustworthy people. It turns to tragedy, however, if an evil person gains access to a child. Even more tragic, instead of being allowed to learn and mature, alters end up cut off from the parts of them that gain the knowledge and maturity and relationship with God to see through the lies.

The truth sets us free, but to know what truths an alter needs we must first discover which untruths are tormenting that particular alter. This involves talking with the alter but it will speed up the process of discovery for you to know what torturous, slanderous lies alters are typically tricked into believing. Below is a list of possibilities, along with links to help you counter each lie:

 

 

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The Danger of Alters Not Knowing that Past Abuse has Ended

Such things as vivid flashbacks and inner pain can make events that ceased years ago seem like just minutes ago. Moreover, alters have often been buried deep inside a person, causing them to have little or no awareness of external events and so leaving them unaware of the passage of time and changed circumstances.

Until alters realize that an abuser can no longer hurt them, they will not only suffer needless fear but might do damaging things, such as continue to enforce on you or your alters the oppressive rules that the abuser used to insist on. They will believe they are sparing you severe punishment by doing this. They might even return to the abuser and submit to his/her abuse; not knowing that they can now resist him/her. Moreover. they might be so afraid of the expected return of an abuser that they could engage in self-harm or even seek to kill themselves and, unintentionally, you as well.

It will initially be a shock for alters to discover that years have passed and so much has changed without their awareness. The shock is likely to initially be so mindboggling that the alter’s strong feelings of bewilderment and confusion are likely to wash over you as well; temporarily overwhelming you. Nevertheless, after the initial shock, the alter’s relief that life is now safer and better than when they had been abused will make the short-lived bewilderment very worthwhile. Alters usually adjust quite quickly to the startling news (typically one to three days) and then the benefits will begin to flow. Moreover, they can be told in a way that will minimize the shock and in a way that helps them quickly realize what a good thing it is.

Before giving the alter specific details of current circumstances, begin by assuring the alter that things are much better than he/she realizes. Tell him/her that he/she mercifully, but safely, lost consciousness for quite a while and that during that time good things have happened: his/her body has grown strong and that other parts of him/her remained active and learned many things and were able to leave the abuser. Explain that he/she has not missed out on the good things that happened but all the good memories of experiences and things learned will end up being restored to him/her and will all be as real as if he/she had personally experienced them because he/she shares the same brain and body as those who had the experiences.

Even the contents of the above paragraph will be mind-boggling to the alter and he/she will probably need a little break to ponder the implications. When you feel the alter is ready for more, show him/her around your current home and the district where you live (if this is different to where you lived when the alter lived when he/she was abused). Tell the alter all the good things that have happened to you since he/she was abused and explain why you are now safer than you used to be. When he/she seems ready, tell him/her the current year. If need be, use calendars, newspapers and so on to confirm it. Explain how long ago it was when he/she last hurt you and, if relevant, how much older and weaker the abuser now is and how far away the abuser is. If the abuser does not know where you live, you will obviously pass on that information to the alter. It is important, however, to only tell the alter the truth. Alters need to know they can totally trust what you tell them. Lying would end up creating serious trust issues and sabotaging your healing.

Think of everything that could contribute to the alter feeling safe and explain it to him/her. An example is that the alter now lives in the body that has grown up, making you physically stronger, smarter, no longer dependent upon an abuser and more likely to be believed by police. All of these things mean you have more power over the abuser than previously and would make the abuser afraid of you. Another factor is that the abuser is quite likely to only want to abuse children and would now consider you too old to abuse. (Do not, however, let the alter feel rejected or of no use because of this, but explain how valuable and useful he/she really is and how much God, you and others love and respect him/her.)

If necessary for further proof, take the alter to a real mirror (as distinguished from an internal or imaginary one) and show him/her the body he/she now has. Be cautious about this, however, because it could cause more shock, especially if he/she believes he/she is the opposite sex. (Explained in Alters Thinking They’re the Opposite Sex). If the alter does not realize his/her real gender, this matter will eventually need to be addressed but this information is usually not critical for him/her feeling safer and it is less traumatic if startling revelations occur gradually rather than piled on top of each other.

Abusers are desperate to terrify their victims into never reporting them to authorities, so they might use ridiculous threats – such as claiming to have supernatural powers – to cause the alter to think he/she could never escape the abuser’s awareness and punishment. Find out anything the alter fears and do all you can to provide convincing proof that those fears are groundless. Also, assure the alter of your love and respect for him/her and that you will protect him/her.

 

 

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Alters Afraid to Change or Reluctant to

An alter who sees his/her entire reason for existence is to protect you from being punished by an abuser who can no longer hurt you is just one example of alters who need to change their role as you heal. This loss of purpose can be most upsetting for an alter, causing him/her to feel useless. Such an alter needs lots of encouragement and your help in receiving from God an awareness that he/she is of great value for who he/she is rather than merely for what he/she does. He/she also needs to receive from God a new role and a new sense of purpose.

Healing involves change, but it is a positive change. Help alters understand that there is such a thing as a positive change – that things really can get better. This webpage might help: There’s Hope! A Sane Guide to Finding Hope When There is No Hope.

 

 

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Letting Jesus Support & Guide you Through a Crisis

Even though no one in the universe comes close to being as safe, competent and dependable as Jesus, I fully understand the tragedy of having enormous difficulty trusting him. Fearing Jesus is like a shivering child fearing the warm rays of the sun; as tragic as someone dying of starvation because he needlessly fears that the beautiful meals prepared for him are laced with poison. For help with this, see Fears & Concerns about God.

As stated in Christian Index of Help for Dissociative Identity Disorder:

    I’ve been privileged to have had large numbers of people with Dissociative Identity Disorder share their hearts and seek my help. Over and over I have seen that what I share in the links below really works and I give Jesus all the honor because I believe it is he who has dropped into my heart most of the understanding I have gained. I beg you, however, not to limit your healing by neglecting to continually look to Jesus to give you his personal guidance and insight. Jesus alone – and most certainly not my writings – is the source of all knowledge, wisdom and power. And he alone is available every moment of every day of every year. And whereas, despite doing our utmost, the best of us fail at times, only the real Jesus is the absolutely perfect friend and counselor. No one can equal him when it comes to being utterly approachable and safe and flawlessly kind, gentle, understanding, patient and dependable.

For more help, see Jesus, the Alter’s Alter.

 

 

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Fears & Concerns About God

As stated earlier in this webpage:

    Even though no one in the universe comes close to being as safe, competent and dependable as Jesus, I fully understand the tragedy of having enormous difficulty trusting him. Fearing Jesus is like a shivering child fearing the warm rays of the sun; as tragic as someone dying of starvation because he needlessly fears that the beautiful meals prepared for him are laced with poison.

Trust is exceptionally difficult for people with Dissociative Identity Disorder. The very fact that they have D.I.D. means that at least one key person in their lives has proved appallingly untrustworthy. The saying, “Once bitten, twice shy,” applies with devastating force. Having suffered so immensely raises to intense levels the fear of a repeat.

Fearing that humans could let you down is understandable because the best of us are weak and fallible. God is neither. And he is not sexual. Tragically, however, fear spreads like a cancer. The very thing that can protect you from dangerous people can end up keeping you from someone safe who can provide the support you desperately need. Never is this more so than when fear hinders us from trusting God.

Doubts about God’s trustworthiness might be inflamed by the tendency of fear to spread from real danger to genuinely safe situations, but I refuse to sidestep the reality of other significant factors:

    1. The mistaken belief that the mere fact that bad things happening in the past mean that God approved of them happening or that he let you down. For help with this, see:

    2. One of the malicious tricks in abusers’ arsenals is to claim that they have God’s blessing in what they do. This is made even worse when in order to protect themselves from being exposed as abusers they assume the cover of being a respectable person – and one of the best ways of doing that is to pretend to be Christians – and they are typically devious enough to fool most people. Abusers often make the ridiculous claim to their victims that their abuse is an expression of love. People who have been exposed to this lie as children can end up needlessly terrified of love. Likewise, those exposed to the lie that God approved of the abuser’s crimes can cause people to end up needlessly terrified of God.

    3. Some abusers – especially in the case of Satanic Ritual Abuse – can actually get someone to dress up to look like Jesus and pretend to be him while abusing a child. A traumatized little child would not be able to see through the deceit and would end up terrified of Jesus.

For still more help, see:

 

 

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When What Seems to be God, Jesus or an Angel is Fake

The real God is:
          Moral and good
          Non-sexual
          Gentle, Kind and Patient
          Consistent, faithful and trustworthy
          Forgiving and patient
          Totally consistent with the Bible

Here are three quite different examples of how people can mistake something else for God or Jesus:

    1. A woman was most perplexed when what she believed to be God speaking to her was sometimes inconsistent with Scripture or displayed less than divine wisdom. In fact, it was so disturbing that it began to shake her faith in God. It turned out to be an alter who had been frustrated by the way the host kept ignoring her. Sometimes the alter actually had greater wisdom than the host and could have spared the host much heartache but the host kept ignoring and suppressing the alter. The alter perceptively worked out that she would be respected and her advice and requests followed if she gave the impression that it was not her voice but God’s.

    The host told me, “In 99% of cases this alter had given me the right answers. She knew where to find my things when I had lost them and she woke me up in the mornings. She had helped me through the years to make so many wonderful decisions. Realizing that it was an alter restored my fellowship with God. I explained to my parts that they would never have to pretend to be God again in order for me to hear them and I asked them to please help me identify them when they speak.” The obvious solution to such a situation is to get to know the alter and come to an agreement whereby the host agrees to take very seriously all that the alter suggests and carefully weigh up all the alter’s reasons and the alter is allowed as much freedom to do as she pleases as the host is able to manage. In return, the alter agrees never again to pretend to be God.

    2. Abusers have been known to dress up to look like Jesus and claim to be Jesus while he abuses a terrified little child.

    3. Abusers, by the very nature of the evil things they do, open themselves up to the demonic and sometimes they deliberately implant demons into their victims in order to make them more compliant. Demons are nothing for Christians to be afraid of but they are very deceptive and will pretend to be friends etc. See Imaginary Friends ((although not stated there, the person involved had D.I.D.). They can just as easily pretend to be God or Jesus or angels from God.

 

 

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Blame

No matter who you blame – God, yourself, your abuser or those who didn’t protect you from abuse, assigning blame ends up being like twisting a knife inside you. But someone must take the blame. Once you find that person you will finally be free. For powerful help with this, see Do-It-Yourself Healing.

See also Blaming God (below).

 

 

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Blaming God

See:

 

 

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Jesus, the Alter’s Alter

To quote from my webpage Healing and Wholeness for Alters:

    Jesus: the Perfect Alter

    An alter told one of Jake’s alters:

      You exist as a separate part of Jake because Jake was pushed beyond human endurance. Then you come along like a lifeboat. You were loaded up with pain and set to sail. So was I. It wasn’t our fault.

    This almost exactly describes the role of a scapegoat. The term “scapegoat” has entered everyday speech via the Old Testament. It has surprisingly much to tell us. Once a year, to atone for sin, two goats were chosen. One of them was sacrificed, paying the ultimate price for the nation’s sins. Of course, most of the nation’s sins were essentially average and yet, in the final analysis, each sin took no less than the death penalty for the blame to be fully resolved and extinguished. The remaining goat – called the scapegoat – stayed alive. Like the other goat, it was utterly innocent of any human sin, but after the sacrificial death of the other one, the sins of the entire nation were symbolically placed on its head and it was driven into the desert, symbolically taking the sins away from the people, never to be seen again (Leviticus 16:5-22).

    Animal sacrifices, though hopelessly inadequate to resolve our guilt problems, were divinely instituted to point prophetically to the one sacrifice that can meet our souls’ deepest needs. The sacrifice to end all sacrifices would have to be human, since it is humans who are blameworthy. But to end all blame, the perfect sacrificial victim would, like the goats, have to be utterly blameless. Unless he had absolute moral perfection – like no other human the world has ever seen – a human sacrifice would be worthless. Since anyone who sins deserves to die, if any of us were to volunteer as a sacrifice we would only be suffering what we ourselves deserve, not suffering for the sins of others. The only perfect sacrifice is the One of whom John the Baptist said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.”

    The entire Old Testament sacrificial system was ordained by God to prepare his people for the Savior of the world so that they would understand what our Lord achieved by dying on the cross. He is the embodiment and fulfillment of the whole Jewish sacrificial system. So when God instituted the use of a scapegoat, he was helping his people understand Jesus, who is the ultimate scapegoat.

    That two goats were needed to atone for the nation’s sins – one dying and then the other released alive – points not only to the removal of our sins but to the death and the subsequent resurrection of Jesus. Not just Jesus’ death but also his resurrection were needed to resolve utterly the guilt and eternal consequences of humanity’s offenses. Just as Jesus rose to a new life, so he has the power to give us a new life, after fully extinguishing all of our blame and shame.

    Humanity’s only true Innocent took upon himself all the blame, letting himself be stripped naked and abused to death so that you could have his peace and purity, and rise with him to a breathtakingly new life that begins here and now.

    I am frequently deeply moved by the selfless, sacrificial way in which alters voluntarily take hurts and rejection upon themselves in order to protect the rest of the person. Like the perfect alter, Jesus wants to take upon himself all the guilt, all the horror, and all the shame you have ever suffered. He wants every trace of filth and pain and rejection to be dumped on him until it kills him, because in killing him, its power to hurt you is also killed.

    If you were living in ancient Israel, it would not just be your sin that was symbolically placed on the scapegoat, but the sins of the entire nation. Even more astounding, the sins of the entire world were actually placed on Jesus when he agonized on the cross. This is significant. Usually, alters hurt, not because of their own sin, nor even the sin of their host, but because of the sins of an abuser or some other cruel person. There is no need even to work out exactly who is at fault and to what degree, however, because all the sin and all the blame and shame were put on the ultimate Scapegoat. Alters do the best they can but no alter can totally remove all blame, shame and pain. The host still feels some of it. And even if an alter could perfectly achieve full peace for the host, what about the alter? What can be done to relieve the alter’s own suffering?

    We have noted that the pain an alter bears is almost never the alter’s fault. The source of the hurt is the sins of others, and he/she bears the pain, sacrificing his/her own well-being for the sake of the host. This is Jesus’ role. Being God, he – and he alone – can do it to perfection. And he does it for all of humanity. For an alter to hold on to the pain is to suffer unnecessarily (which would break God’s heart) and to render Jesus’ torturous death a waste, as far as both the alter and host is concerned.

    Dumping pain upon an innocent alter is an act of desperation that can keep a person alive until he/she finds God’s perfect remedy: Jesus. Asking an alter to bear pain is at best an emergency measure only. Like putting chewing gum on a leaking fuel tank, as a tiny aircraft is in flight, it could save someone temporarily, but something more effective needs to be done as soon as possible. It is vital that alters be relieved of their pain as quickly as possible, both for their sake and so that their hosts can receive full healing.

    Jesus is the alter par excellence; literally the alter’s alter. For both the host and all alters, Jesus bore all the horrific consequences of sin, completely removing all the blame, pain and shame, destroying it all by his own death, so that none of it could ever come back to hurt the host or any of the alters.

    Please don’t let familiarity with the following Scripture rob you of its full impact. Read slowly and prayerfully what it says of Jesus, the perfect alter:

      Isaiah 53:3-6 He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

    Jesus took upon himself full punishment for every sin that has ever been committed. He was betrayed, disowned, spat on, stripped naked, made a public spectacle of, shamed, laughed at, degraded, slapped, punched, flayed alive, spiritually cursed (Galatians 3:13), rejected by his people and by God (Mark 15:34), tortured to death for you. He bore your rejection, your heartache, your humiliation. For you, he took the pain, the shame and the blame.

    God’s plan has always been that we offload our pain on to him, not upon an alter.

      1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

      Psalms 55:22 Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you . . .

    When alters were formed, the host did not understand the implications of this truth, but now it can be explained to alters so that they can be relieved of all their torment by handing over to the Lord their pain, distress, and secrets, letting the Lord of glory, who lovingly volunteered to be humanity’s scapegoat, bear it all on the cross and annihilate it with his own death. Then alters can be free to enjoy life and can help hurting parts of their host, not by personally bearing hurts and secrets, but by encouraging fellow alters to lay all their pains and burdensome secrets upon the crucified Lord and rise in the triumphant new life of our resurrected Lord.

And as I wrote in: How to Speed Healing

    The Most Effective Way to Heal Fast

    All alters desperately need Jesus. They are usually tormented by guilt and shame and feel so worthless that it is not uncommon for some to even be convinced that they are evil. Jesus’ whole reason for coming to earth was to resolve these stupendous needs in a way far beyond what anyone in the universe – and most certainly more than any counselor – could ever achieve. He, alone, as the utterly Innocent One, took upon himself all our guilt; suffering our full punishment and then cleansing us utterly and granting us his moral perfection, purity, goodness and exalted status with God, the Holy Judge of heaven and earth. Obviously, these truths should be explained more simply and in more detail, but it is imperative that alters be made aware of them.

    Alters also usually need someone to mother and father them, but because they are now in an adult body this is rarely possible, nor is it usually safe to seek it from anyone other than Jesus for this role as it could expose both alter and host to ridicule or abuse, or to devastation if the mother/father figure needed to leave at some later stage. Only Jesus is utterly safe in giving hugs, tucking alters into bed and so on, and fully understands the best way to help at every stage of healing, and offers the total security of never getting sick or burned out, changing, moving away, or dying. And no one understands any of us like Jesus does, nor has his wisdom. Moreover, Jesus fervently loves alters with total selflessness without any sexual overtones and longs to comfort and heal them.

    There is a critical blockage to receiving Jesus’ help, however. Because Jesus is not an abuser, he will not force himself upon alters, no matter how much he yearns to help and knows they need him. A further hindrance is that alters often have such distorted ideas about Jesus (confusing him with abusers, for example, or believing lies people have said about him) that they can be terrified of him.

    So the greatest of all things that anyone can do for alters is to reassure them of how gentle, kind, caring, patient, understanding and comforting Jesus is and how much he wants to take their pain upon himself – bearing their guilt, fear and inner pain as the alter’s Alter – and be their devoted friend and have lots of safe fun with them. (Yes, because play is important to every young alter he longs to play with them in a way that builds them up intellectually and in self-esteem and shows them great respect.)

    Encourage alters to dialog with Jesus. Assure them that he will respect whatever boundaries they put up and that he will wait for as long as it takes for them to be sure that they are safe with him. Jesus is the perfect counselor and the ultimate healer. Once they commence talking with Jesus, the door to wondrous things has opened.

Jesus loves you so much that he longs for you to let him be as much an integral part of you as any of your alters. Because Jesus is not an abuser, he will never force himself on you but he would love to be invited into the inner circle of your alters. For example, when you have alter meetings, he would love to be there; not to dominate but to listen, share and vote just like them.

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Problems Relating to Father God

 

 

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Sin

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Thinking of Oneself as Bad/Evil/Unforgivable

Seeing yourself as spiritually or morally ruined, evil or unforgivable is a deadly misconception that you dare not tolerate. If allowed to continue unchallenged it will be a source of unspeakable torment, and it will cripple you psychologically, spiritually and, potentially, even morally. It is better to sleep with a rattlesnake in your bed then suppress, tolerate or even entertain this deadly lie. It sucks the life out of a person and can drive one to desperate measures and even suicide. There is no need to let this ruin your life. You must fight this lie with everything you have until it is utterly eradicated from your thinking.

This deception is so damaging and needless that I have poured years of agonizing effort into amassing a huge mountain of help for people ensnared by this hideous self-image. To my frustration, however, I cannot read and absorb all that help for you. Forced to leave that responsibility to you, I can only get down on my knees and beg you to keep prayerfully reading all that I have provided on this subject until you find full relief. Even then, I expect you will repeatedly find yourself needing to revisit my writings and read still more of all I have on the subject. As I have written:

    The enemy of our souls is the master deceiver because that is all he can do. The devil cannot change reality. He cannot change the fact that God loves you with all of his unlimited love and that Christ died for the sins of the entire world, which has to include every sin you have ever committed. So all he can do is mess with your feelings, hoping that you will start to believe them rather than believe in the cleansing and forgiving power of Christ and the love of God.

    Even if you feel you are beyond God’s forgiveness, that feeling is a lie from hell as serious as claiming that Christ did not die for the sins of the world.

    Until you realize that false feelings will continue no matter how devoted you are to Christ, you’ll be so vulnerable to false feelings that the tempter will keep piling them on more than ever. None of us ever gets to the point where we are no longer tempted. Unwanted thoughts and feelings would only slightly taper off if the tempter has tried so often without ruffling your feathers that he begins to believe that such an attack will never succeed with you and is a complete waste of his time. If he got mileage out of that approach in the past, he will take a lot of convincing.

    Satan is a sore loser. Once he finds something that shakes us up he keeps trying it over and over relentlessly until he is absolutely convinced that his tactics will never again work with you. When, finally, he seems to leave, it is only to bide his time for a surprise attack. His persistence is so very unpleasant. The positive side, however, is that this will make you stronger and stronger as you keep resisting his lies.

It is tragically common for alters to be riddled with guilt because:

    1. Abusers typically try to ease their own guilty conscience by blaming their victims, rather than accept responsibility for their own actions.

    2. Abusers falsely accuse their victims (and often reinforce it with cruel punishment) to try to break their victims.

    3. Abusers hope that overwhelming their victims with false guilt will undermine their desire to report the abuse to anyone. The more that victims imagine it is all their fault, the less likely they are to report the crime.

It usually works because children have a particularly sensitive conscience and usually accept as truth whatever older people tell them.

A further source of torment, is that it is not uncommon for abuse victims to feel moments of pleasure. This can end up even more confusing and devastating than pain and can lead to a needlessly tortured conscience. For important help and insight, please read The Dilemma of Feeling Pleasure When Abused and follow the links.

Since abuse victims are no more sinful than the rest of humanity, it is tempting to be content just to explain how they have been cruelly tricked into blaming themselves. It would be tragic to stop there, however, because Jesus has the ultimate remedy not just to false guilt but to the real guilt that, deep down, we know we all have. Through him, even the most sexually perverse person on the planet can be made purer than the most innocent of virgins who has yet to experience Jesus’ cleansing. So I beg you to help each of your alters enjoy this by introducing them to the pages listed at The Ultimate Cure for Guilt. I suggest you start at the first and as you complete reading each page, click the Next Page link at the end of the text.

Other Helpful Pages:

 

 

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Addictions & D.I.D.

Addictions can take many forms, including an addition to over-eating, self-harm, sex, and so on.

Beating an addiction is agonizingly difficult for anyone, and even more so when one is battling inner pain, but Dissociative Identity Disorder makes it still more complicated and sometimes impossible.

No matter how much the host – the person most often in charge of the body – is determined to break an addiction, it can range from unusually difficult to literally impossible until certain alters are discovered and helped to see the wisdom of ending the habit.

There are a number of different ways in which the resolve of even the strongest-willed host can be sabotaged. Let me explain:

A person’s alters usually vary in their powers. Most people with D.I.D. have certain alters who have the power to forcibly take over the body and do things that are totally contrary to the host’s wishes. The host might be aware of what is happening (called co-consciousness) but is quite powerless to stop it, or the host might lose consciousness and have no idea what happens when the other alter is in control. In some cases, this could happen on and off for years, with the host having no idea he/she is living a double life.

Certain alters have a different power. They can remain completely hidden from the host and, without taking over the body, can force the host to do his/her bidding by giving the host an irresistible urge to do something that the host would normally vehemently not want. This would seem to be demonic, except that such alters can give their heart to Jesus and not only completely cease misusing their powers this way but become genuinely committed to acting godly.

On the other extreme, some alters unknowingly sabotage attempts to break addictions simply because they are not even aware of the host’s desire to break a habit. This is yet another reason why it is so important to keep alters informed of one’s plans and of one’s reasons for decisions.

There can be all sorts of unexpected reasons for an alter sabotaging a host’s resolve to break an addiction. Here’s one of countless examples: one alter felt compelled to smoke continually, not because of an addiction to nicotine but for self-protection. She believed that at any moment an abuser could suddenly appear and that her only hope of protecting herself was to have a lighted cigarette in her hand to use as a weapon. She believed that holding something like a cigarette lighter would not work because of the slight delay in producing a flame, and that having a lighted cigarette without smoking it would also fail because the cigarette would extinguish. And holding an obvious weapon such as a knife would be socially unacceptable.

Once you understand the reasons behind the alter’s actions, you can then work on resolving the matter. For instance, with an alter who is terrified about not having a lit cigarette in her hand, everything would change upon the alter being informed that the abuser has moved on and is no longer a threat to her. (Until they are befriended and told about current reality, most alters are denied such basic information.) Once this is sorted, it is then that the inevitable addiction to nicotine must be fought, just as people without D.I.D. must. For much encouragement and help with this final stage, see:

 

 

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Feeling Angry (General)

If you have times when you feel angry but have no idea why you feel that way, it could be because a part of you (an alter) is so angry that his/her feelings are washing over you.

Anger is at times simply a desperate attempt to express deep pain. Part of the abuse that is common for people with D.I.D. to have been subjected is to have not been allowed to express feelings of grief and pain by crying. Abusers often hurt their victims even more if they scream in pain or shed tears.

Traumatized people are often desperate to be seen as being tough in the hope that this might cause would-be abusers to back off. To be angry is often thought of as being tough, whereas screaming or shedding tears is often viewed as being weak. This fallacy is sometimes even perpetuated in western Christian circles. In Real Christians Grieve this fallacy is exploded.

So anger could be more an expression of pain and grief, or an attempt to harden oneself against more hurt, or an attempt to protect oneself by scaring off people.

Nevertheless, what one feels is often genuine anger at the injustice one has suffered. Such anger is a key part of the healing process and nothing to be ashamed of.

Whether the anger is directed towards yourself, or to another part of you, or towards God or another person, or it just seems a random feeling, it is an opportunity to deepen your healing.

For most of my life, I had no idea that getting in touch with one’s anger is an essential part of the healing and forgiving journey. I explain my discovery in a fairly short but important webpage: Why to Truly Forgive Hinges on Getting in Touch with Your Anger. I beg you to read it, and the links at the end of the page.

Most of us are so anxious to forgive as quickly as possible and not let the sun go down on our anger that we end up merely stuffing anger deeper inside rather than resolving it. We suppose we are taking the godly path when we are actually taking the cowardly path of not admitting to ourselves just how atrociously we have been sinned against. Being disconnected from the anger seething inside us tricks us into thinking the matter has been resolved and this has the unfortunate effect of short-circuiting the entire healing and forgiving process. The exciting thing about making this discovery is that it opens the way to more peace and healing than you have ever known.

Getting in touch with one’s anger is so critical that rather than being hard on yourself or criticizing alters for their anger, seek to sympathize with any parts of you that are angry and endeavor to understand why they feel this way. Remember that you are so deeply loved of God that he himself is furious that someone has broken his heart and his laws by hurting you.

God offers forgiveness not because sins are minor or hardly matter but because they are so atrocious that none of us could survive God’s wrath unless he forgives. He tolerates sin only because he is giving the sinner a chance to repent before Judgment Day and if God had not extended that tolerance to us over and over and over we would be in hell right now. Anyone who has mistreated you who is not genuinely filled with remorse before Judgment Day for every sin will end up bitterly regretting his/her actions for all eternity.

Self-harm is typically an expression of anger that is turned inward. See Self-Harm for more.

Also see:

 

 

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Anger at What One has Suffered

Suppressing anger is neither Christian nor healing. What is needed is not stifling one’s anger but resolving one’s anger.

I have never encountered anyone with Dissociative Identity Disorder who has not suffered horrific injustice that makes even God angry. In fact, God is so angry at what was done to you that the only solution was for him pour out all this wrath upon himself (that’s what the cross is all about) and anyone not truly regretting his/her offenses will regret their actions for all eternity in hell. One way or another, the injustice you have suffered will be avenged.

Forgiveness in no way means excusing or minimizing the gravity of an offense. It does not mean blaming oneself for the offender’s actions or saying he/she could not help it or that it was not so bad. Nor does it mean tempting the person to re-offend. The offender might need to be removed from sources of temptation by not being allowed access to children and perhaps even by you having little contact with the offender. Surprisingly, a loving heart might even require one to seek the person’s imprisonment.

Forgiveness means letting go of ill will and wanting God’s best for the person. God’s best is that each of us truly regrets our sin and never re-offend.

Important links:

 

 

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Coping with the Loss of a Counselor/Support Person

There is no side-stepping the fact that losing a counselor or support person is a devastating blow and I feel deeply for anyone suffering this. Nevertheless, the greatest friend, counselor and therapist in the universe is still faithfully available to you every moment of every day of every year. I spent years daily helping the woman who ended up being my wife and throughout that time I continually told her that she did not need me. “If God chose to use me, that was fine,” I told her. “But if I messed up or burned out or whatever, God could at any moment send her a replacement. Or he could choose to do all the counseling and support himself, which would be far superior to anything any human could do.”

As stated in Choosing a Counselor for Dissociative Identity Disorder:

    You can even choose a superb Christian therapist/counselor and still end up deeply hurt, if due to unforeseen circumstances (sickness or whatever) the therapist/counselor ends up having to leave you in a year or so before you are fully healed. This is quite a possibility because full healing usually takes several years and counselors are typically so compassionate and needed so much that they are often in danger of over-extending themselves and burning out.

    This is one of several reasons why it is important to try to avoid emotional attachment and/or dependence upon a specific counselor, but despite the best intentions it often happens and if the counselor is forced to leave at a critical time in your healing, it can be quite a blow. . . .

If you have lost someone who has been a key person in your healing journey, there are several reasons why it feels excessively devastating:

    1. Past abuse has crushed your self-esteem, causing you to feel far more hopeless, incapable and unlovable than you really are. In reality, you are a survivor; someone who has overcome enormous odds and you have Almighty God on your side.

    2. Chances are that some event in your past caused you to feel abandoned and losing this special person can trigger those same feelings of abandonment even though this person’s actions might in reality not be nearly as bad as what you suffered in the past and things are not nearly as serious because now you have far more maturity and security.

    3. As explained below, you are likely to have bonded in a psychologically unhealthy way with this person and as unpleasant as the breaking of the bond is, it could well end up being a good thing and release you to heal more.

To cite another portion of the above-mentioned webpage:

    Counselors should keep a little aloof. Since the reasons for this are not immediately obvious, I need to provide a fuller explanation.

    It is of critical importance to your healing that every part of you bond with, and become dependent upon, Jesus and each other. Unfortunately, even though it can seem to initially help, getting too close to a counselor, or to anyone else, can detract from this critical bonding or even undermine it.

    How awful it would be if someone wanted to heal her marriage and took her husband to a counselor and then her husband fell in love with the counselor! To heal a marriage the goal must be for a husband and wife to bond with each other, and certainly not with a counselor. Likewise, for healing of Dissociative Identity Disorder, the goal is for all of a person’s parts to bond with each other, not with a counselor.

    You obviously need to bond with any children and/or marriage partner that you have, but not even these relationships must be allowed to detract from your relationship with Jesus and with every part of you.

    Counselors should not let little alters call them Dad or Mum or hug them. It is very tempting to break this rule because, in the short term, it seems loving and effective. The serious problem, however, is that it can create too strong a bond that, in addition to the issue already mentioned, would prove devastating if ever the counselor suffered from burnout, illness, needed to move away, or whatever.

    Counselors who make the mistake of getting too close usually have a good heart and, even if they have been doing it for years, are too inexperienced to realize the dangers. Not only is it unprofessional to hug counselees, it is often a sign of lacking the training and understanding that professionals have.

    Do not presume that the counselor’s gender will protect you from inappropriate bonding. Young, love-starved alters can bond exceedingly deeply and very quickly to either gender. Moreover, people with D.I.D. have usually been sexually wounded and often have alters who are unsure of their own gender and/or are attracted to the same gender as their body. You might not be currently aware of any alter within you with such vulnerabilities but you probably have alters you have not yet met.

And in Help for People with D.I.D. I state:

    People with Dissociative Identity Disorder can quickly develop unhealthily powerful attachments to those who show them kindness, and what initially feels good and speeds their recovery can end up sabotaging their healing.

    Until they heal, people with D.I.D. might have many casual friends but deep inside they are tortured by extreme loneliness and intense yearning for acceptance, further compounded by the belief that anyone discovering the full truth about their past would reject them. They feel haunted by dark, tormenting secrets that they keep suppressing from everyone (and even from themselves). To release that fearful pressure and isolation by sharing their secrets and find warm acceptance is such a relief that it powerfully bonds a person with whoever the secrets are shared. This, combined with the false but strong deception that virtually no one would accept them if they truly knew them, typically causes people with Dissociative Identity Disorder to feel strongly attached to, and dependent upon, a counselor or whoever they open up to.

    To understand the power of the forces at work, remember that parts of the person are literally like little children desperate for a parent’s love and approval, others are like older children yearning for a best friend and still others are like teens pining for romantic love. It is not at all unusual for some to be sexually attracted to someone of the same gender as their own body. And all these different alters can believe they have found in the one counselor (or friend they have opened up to) all the love and acceptance they have been starved of all their lives. Almost overwhelmingly powerful forces combine, not only on a conscious level, but on a subconscious level.

    Little children typically think their parents infallible, and starry-eyed lovers are blinded to faults in the person they idolize. People who are hurting are exceptionally sensitive. Alters can take the tiniest thing as a huge personal insult. Bring all these components together and the result is such intense emotions that if you and your alters bond exclusively to one person, then even temporarily losing access to this person can feel not just like being orphaned but being widowed, and like being betrayed by your best friend, all at the one time.

    What makes these attachments so dangerous is that no one but God can guarantee never to die or get sick or need a break. It also puts enormous pressure on the person who is the object of this dependence. Becoming so crucial to another’s healing and well-being can easily so overload a helper that he or she cracks under the demands placed on him or her. Moreover, it makes the person with Dissociative Identity Disorder dangerously vulnerable to exploitation if the one they depend so highly upon has the slightest moral weakness.

    It is for very good reason that it is considered not just unwise but highly unethical for a counselor to have a romantic relationship with someone he or she is helping. Doing so is enough to get professionals deregistered because it is well established that people who are emotionally wounded are highly vulnerable and can so easily end up feeling emotionally attached to anyone offering them support. This is further exasperated by the fact that people with Dissociative Identity Disorder usually need prolonged help.

    Anyone recovering from Dissociative Identity Disorder needs to be in a position where the most significant person in their recovery could at any moment die or be forced by circumstances to withdraw without it undermining much of the progress made.

    An alter wrote to me, saying:

      My host’s husband left her alone with all her outside children to raise all by herself. He told her, “You need too much.”

      We don’t want you to go away from us like he did because we need too much because that made our host cry and cry and cry and throw up until she almost died. We don't want to make that happen to her again.

    I replied:

      Precious Friend,

      I understand your needs. They are very deep, intense and critically important. I feel for you and long to be used of God to help you have all these needs met. But although humans can facilitate, your needs are so great that it is critical for your well-being and for other people that you don’t look to other people to meet your needs. You actually need someone who is available 24/7 and who can guarantee not to burn out or die. Otherwise, you are vulnerable to more heartbreak – and you have already suffered far too much of that.

      I will do my best, but the only safe and totally effective way to meet your needs is through Jesus and through each part of you loving, understanding and supporting every other part of you.

      As you understand, it is not fair on yourself, or on any counselor, to look to a counselor as if he were a substitute husband who pledges to be with you till death and gives you priority over everyone else who needs him. I know you don’t think this is what you are asking but it is so easy to slip into this degree of dependence without realizing it.

      Nor is it safe for you, or fair on any husband, for you to unconsciously make a husband into a substitute mother and father for your every alter, even though your alters desperately need it. This does not mean that your needs cannot be met but they must be met through Jesus and through you loving and supporting each part of you. My role must not be primary, but must be to help you discover how to have your needs met by Jesus and by yourself.

    Since only God is immortal, infallible and unchangeable, alters need to learn as quickly as possible to keep availing themselves of human help while at the same time shifting their dependence as much as they can from humans to God. For this reason, I have established a DID group, an important goal of which is that members bond to the group rather than to myself or any individual in the group. Other people are an important part of the healing process but alters are best helped by looking primarily to God and their host for nurturing, approval, parenting and so on.

I’m always keen to find the good in every tragedy because we have a God who has promised to bring good out of all things (Romans 8:28). That most certainly does not mean that God causes all things but that he loves us too much and is too powerful not to weave anti-God tragedies that break God’s heart into the things that end up blessing us. For help in discovering how the tragic loss you have suffered could be turned around into a blessing, see God, Counselors & Inner Healing: Divine Healing of Inner Pain

See also Dependency – Too Attached to Someone.

 

 

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When it is Unspiritual to Refuse Human Help

In the first part of God, Counselors & Inner Healing Kathy bravely shares her discovery that she had been hindering her healing by trusting counselors more than she had been trusting God. However, the same webpage tells of another trauma-surviving friend who discovered that she had been guilty of the opposite danger – potentially dishonoring God and missing out on healing by refusing human help. To understand the other danger, pick up the story here: God, Counselors & Inner Healing: When Refusing Human Help is Unspiritual.

 

 

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Protector Alters

Protector alters courageously do their utmost to protect certain other alters from harm. Often a significant part of this protection is their insistence that alters do not reveal themselves to people and, in some cases, not to the host or some other alters.

Unfortunately, protector alters’ perception of harm is typically distorted by the trauma they have suffered and/or is out of date. This means that even though they have the best intentions, they can unknowingly delay healing until they are gently helped to see the value of giving more freedom of expression to the alters they care for.

Protector alters might be scared, but they act strong and usually interact with the outside world more than those they seek to protect. As a result, they often win the respect and admiration of other alters, thus causing them to believe a protector’s evaluation of danger.

I regard all alters as equally valuable, just as I regard a baby as just as precious as an adult, even though the baby has not yet developed to its full potential. Nevertheless, it is often initially necessary to give priority to helping the protector because until you win his/her confidence you will be denied access to other alters.

For much more help, see Advice From a Protector Alter to Other Protector Alters.

 

 

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Seeming to Go Backward or Feeling Worse, Rather than Better

I explain below how things seeming to be getting worse is usually an illusion. It is tempting, nevertheless, to give up at such times. So to encourage you to persist with healing, it seems best to start with this quote from my writings:

    If you suspect you could have Dissociative Identity Disorder, then finding, comforting and supporting your every alter and organizing them into a tightly knit team working in unity towards a common goal should be a higher priority to you than your marriage, your children, your job, your ministry and even your relationship with God. Why? Precisely because each of those other responsibilities is so important and each of them is profoundly impacted by how harmoniously and effectively your alters pull together. What could happen if parts of you are able to take over your body without your knowledge? Ponder the possibilities if those parts are allowed to remain cut off from your knowledge of morality or even from the knowledge that you are married. Consider even the legal implications of a sexualized alter in an adult body who believes she is a young teen getting involved with a boy her own age.

    Every aspect of your life and future will suffer if you are disorganized inside, and everything you touch will thrive if you are exquisitely functioning within.

Progressing on the healing journey involves enjoying significant breakthroughs interspersed by times when you feel you are going backward. The main reason for this is that it is normal for alters who have little awareness of current circumstances to gradually become aware of healing that other alters have been enjoying and to be inspired to reveal themselves so that they, too, can heal. Because they have been largely out of the loop, however, they will know little of what you have learned of D.I.D. and they will need you to start almost from scratch in teaching them things that to you are now basic. Moreover, they will have their own pain, memories and issues that will need healing.

Until they heal, when these alters come to the fore, their pain and ignorance might feel so strong that it temporarily overwhelms your own peace and understanding. For example, you might temporarily lose memory of all that you have learned about D.I.D. At such times it will be tempting to wish those parts of you had remained buried, but they will heal and their healing will bring you more peace and wholeness than ever.

You can easily reach the point where it seems there are too many alters to cope with, but as one alter heals he/she will become your ally and will help carry the load for you and assist you in comforting, and guiding the healing of other alters.

When the going gets tough (and it inevitably will) it is tempting to revert to burying things and living in denial. For encouragement in resisting this temptation see Living in Denial.

For more help, see:

 

 

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Bad Memories, Flashbacks & Nightmares

In Positive Confession? Or Living in Denial? (a webpage I urge you to read in its entirety) I write:

    Whether it be credit card debt, early signs of cancer or past trauma, problems are never solved by ignoring them. Putting a crisis out of your mind might give you temporary peace but the problem will only worsen and you will inevitably end up wishing you had faced it earlier.

    If you have a full bladder and you ignore the urge to empty it, the uncomfortable feeling will go away in a while. In time, the discomfort will return, reminding you of the need to take action. You can ignore it again and it will fade away. Keep ignoring it, however, and the pain will keep returning with increasing frequency and intensity until you either take decisive action or you embarrass yourself.

    Inner wounds caused by past trauma act the same way. The memory and/or associated pain will make its presence felt but you can ignore it and it will go away. Eventually, the memories and/or inner pain will come back and, if ignored, they will keep returning with increasing frequency and intensity, because ignoring a problem merely gives it time to grow worse.

    Nightmares, flashbacks and/or inner pain are your mind dutifully alerting you to matters you must face before they become even more serious. It is warning you that, despite your attempts to move on, you are still being crippled by past trauma. Most likely, your lack of recovery is because you have left past events languishing in the dark – where things always seem scarier – instead of devoting sufficient effort to prayerfully re-examining them in the reassuring light of God’s truth. For instance, lurking in the murky depths of your consciousness could be the fear that ugly incidents in the past indicate that God abandoned you and that he is not good and trustworthy, or that because of those unfortunate events God sees you as untrustworthy or unforgivable, or that you see yourself that way. If so, these are not merely events in the past; they are fears and lies that hold you back right now and will continue to do so until you identify the lies that haunt you and you explode them with God’s truth.

In The Surprising Power of Journaling I write:

    Dreams and flashbacks can be exceedingly unpleasant, so don’t waste them. They contain valuable information, so record them. The obvious place for this is in your journal. Writing them out and thinking about them when relaxed and fully conscious can help remove some of their terror and might possibly prove beneficial, should the dream recur. The practice also provides a good opportunity to ask alters about the dream or flashback – what does it mean to them, how do they feel about it, and so on.

    Dreams can sometimes be like flashbacks – accurate memories of past events that you may or may not be aware happened. Alternatively, some dreams are the mind trying to come to terms with things that have been bothering you. Sometimes you were not even conscious that these matters were bothering you. Both of these types of dreams can be valuable in giving you insight into what some of your alters might be coping with. However, some dreams can actually be alters seeking to communicate with you, either by symbolically revealing how they feel or by sharing accurate memories. Additionally, some dreams are alters trying to come to terms with things by imagining themselves in various scenarios.

Here’s a relevant quote from Dissociative Identity Disorder: How to Speed Healing:
    A woman with Dissociative Identity Disorder approached me with this prayer request:

      I want to heal without recalling all of the memories.

    I understand exactly where this dear woman is coming from. Bad memories can terrify us. The problem, however, is that it is our refusal to face those memories that causes Dissociative Identity Disorder. Remaining unaware of what part of us is doing (or has done) is at the very heart of D.I.D.

    With D.I.D., a part of you keeps upsetting information from the rest of you by maintaining exclusive access to part of your brain. The unfortunate downside is that this prevents you from accessing your full intellectual capacity. That’s an exceedingly high price to pay. Moreover, it means that a precious, irreplaceable part of you will continue needlessly reeling in pain because the more mature part of you does not know what the distressing memory is and so cannot resolve it by such things as convincing the part that is hurting that the danger is now over, that the awful thing was the abuser’s fault, and so on. The dire consequences of not remembering are not something this dear woman would want. Whilst emotionally very understandable, her prayer request to be continually cut off from certain memories is like praying, “Lord, I don’t ever want to be separated from my children but I want nothing more to do with them.” Some things are logical impossibilities – absurdities that not even God can do.

    All guilt, fear and torment associated with memories need to end but this is not the same as losing those memories. What this woman has not yet grasped is that her continued inability to remember unpleasant events would be a tragedy, not a blessing. There are several aspects to this, so it will take a few paragraphs to explain.

    To run from memories would be to cave into false feelings of shame, fear or inability to cope. It would be to languish in needless defeat. That’s not God’s plan for you. Christ took all your shame, blame and pain, bearing it all in his own naked, tortured body so that you can lift your head high. Through Christ, you are a winner; not one who runs away, but a hero clothed with divine majesty in God’s royal family.

    Our walk with Christ is about love, adventure and glory. It’s not about escapism, wasting one’s life and trashing opportunities for greatness. It has no partnership with cowardice and the eternal regret it brings. We might think of ourselves as born failures but through Christ we are transformed; born anew for achievement, heroism and honor. The Almighty has astounding faith in what you can do empowered by him. You are called to jettison shame, defeatism and self-indulgence to enter into holy union with the all-powerful Conqueror and, thus endowed, to reign with him in regal splendor:

      2 Timothy 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him . . . (KJV).

      Romans 8:17  . . . we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

      Revelation 3:2 To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.

    Don’t dare dishonor the Lord of glory by thinking this is beyond you. For Christ, who has invested the last drop of his blood into ensuring your success, impossibilities are playthings. You are one with the Almighty Lord. You are in him and he is in you; melded together in the most thrilling of unions.

    Furthermore, even if full healing without recovery of memories were neither irrational, nor a needless defeat, it would render much of your past agony a useless waste. You are passionately loved of God; the darling of his heart. He is far too devoted to you to want you to undergo such a tragic loss. Instead, his plan is to transform your past suffering into something that exalts you to eternal heights of glory like nothing else could ever achieve. His goal is not to destroy your memories but to heal your memories so that they no longer distress you and so that your past suffering becomes something uniquely valuable. Remembering your past will not only enable you to better comprehend the love of God but will equip you with the ability to minister with unique experience and conviction to other hurting people. This is the path to eternal glory.

    Astoundingly, not even the Eternal Son of God, the Infinite Lord of Glory, could be granted the authority to fulfill the exalted role of Ultimate High Priest without his familiarity with, and memory of, his own suffering [Scriptures included in the full webpage.].

    Someone who finds study highly taxing devotes year after arduous year to medical studies. Finally. he qualifies as a doctor. Now all the hard work is behind him and at last, he can truly help people, save lives and reap all the benefits of his study. Can you imagine him rendering all his efforts a useless waste by praying to forget everything he has learned?

    We don’t need more self-proclaimed experts who trample on other people’s feelings; arrogant theorizers exposing themselves to the wrath of God by ignorantly thinking they are helping when they are devastating people who are already writhing in inner agony. The world is filled with – in fact, has had its fill of – such people. What are as rare as diamonds, however, are people who truly understand; people whose advice does not come from a book or vain imagination but from genuine experience; leaders who, like Jesus, can say, “I’ve been there – follow me.” You’ve endured what it takes to qualify as one of those rare and valued people who truly know. Now, with almost all the sweat and tears behind you, will you throw it all away by praying to forget it all?

    The great apostle Paul seems to have suffered no loss of memory when reeling off the precise number and ways in which he was tortured:

      2 Corinthians 11:24-25 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea . . .

    In fact, he seems to have seen his suffering as something to boast about:

      2 Corinthians 11:23, 12:1 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. . . . I must go on boasting. . . .

    You might long to keep suppressed from your consciousness horrific memories and/or awareness of your current emotional reaction (such as fear, pain or shame) associated with those memories. Disturbingly, however, for as long as a part of you has memories and/or emotional reactions that you have no access to, you are unable to access that part of your brain in which those memories and emotions are stored. Of particular concern is that for people with Dissociative Identity Disorder, alters (sometimes called personalities or insiders) have not just memories and emotions but other intellectual abilities. So if you have an alter you have little interaction with, those parts of your brain that you have lost access to almost certainly hold not only memories and emotions but valuable skills and intellectual abilities. (For a list, see the full webpage.)

For more, on dreams and nightmares see Dreams & Nightmares.

Other related topics:

 

 

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Healing of Memories

Memories are healed not by trying to cause them to disappear but by discovering why you still find them upsetting. Of course, the event was extremely upsetting at the time but what is preventing you from simply feeling relief and joy that it is now all over? A huge factor is likely to be that part of you is believing some lie about the event, such as thinking the event could recur at any moment or that it means you are forever defiled or unlovable or useless or that God does not care what happens to you. Find out what the lie or lies are and then prayerfully begin addressing them until God’s truth sets you free. It is particularly beneficial to ask God to show you his perspective on this event.

For much more help, see:

 

 

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Why is Healing so Important?

Healing from Dissociative Identity Disorder is a very long process demanding much courage and effort. But there are many profound reasons why we need to persist with it and there are astounding benefits from doing so.

The following is taken from How to Find Every Alter.

    No one, no matter how capable, can be sure of making smart and safe decisions without knowing all the relevant facts. Whether you realize it or not, there are facts that will remain hidden from you unless you connect with every alter that is currently hidden inside you. No one knows how vital these facts are to your welfare until all your alters reveal themselves and fully share all they know. I have met very many people who have ended up exceedingly sorry they had not tried harder and much earlier to get to know their every alter. They could have been spared much heartache.

    It is with great reluctance that I alert you to the magnitude of the very real dangers of not connecting with all your alters. You have more than enough stress without me adding to it, but it would be irresponsible of me not to warn you of what could be at stake.

    Picture several infants and young children who have access to guns they do not know are loaded. You are unable to physically touch the children or the guns. So you cannot prevent them from pointing the guns at family members and strangers and playing with the trigger. All you can do is coax and train them to leave the guns alone. It is no exaggeration to say it is equally as dangerous not to do everything you can to discover and interact with every one of your alters. It is not at all that your alters are evil; they simply lack your understanding. Now that you know this, however, to remain willfully ignorant and not seek out every last one of your alters is irresponsible and would render you accountable for any disasters that result.

    Alters are ordinary people (frequently little children) cut off from vital information and subjected to mind-numbingly horrific situations. Think of normal little children who have been fed lies and are beside themselves with pain, terror, confusion and hopelessness. These darlings have not only been cut off from almost all that you know about life and God but have been tricked, groomed, manipulated and even brainwashed by someone terrifyingly evil.

    Despite having surprisingly good intentions, such confused and traumatized alters could unwittingly cause you enormous distress.

    Until connections with alters are made, D.I.D. can, for some people, render battling certain temptations almost impossibly difficult. Once alters receive the benefits of your insights, however, having Dissociative Identity Disorder suddenly becomes an asset in fighting temptation – an advantage that average people can only dream about.

    I even know of several devout women, each of whom had no idea she was having an affair or even more physically dangerous sexual liaisons for years, until eventually discovering the shattering truth.

    Similar situations can involve child abuse, squandering money, chemical abuse, self-harm, overeating and bulimia. Some devout Christians have alters they know nothing about who literally worship Satan or befriend demons. Some alters can be committed to ensuring a person fails at everything he or she attempts.

    When alters are befriended, however, Dissociative Identity Disorder not only ceases to be a disadvantage, it becomes a significant spiritual advantage.

It is hard to conceive of a more tortured existence than that of an alter living in an adult body and yet trapped in the years of childhood. When treated kindly and wisely, alters can find total relief, but unless they receive the attention and comfort they deserve, their pain will never end this side of the grave. Moreover, unless people with alters learn how to avoid making things worse, they will almost inevitably create still more sources of suffering for their already severely traumatized alters.

For more about the importance and astounding benefits of healing, please read How to Speed Healing.

 

 

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How to Heal

For healing from Dissociative Identity Disorder, see How to Find Every Alter.

For healing from Sex Abuse, see Comfort, Understanding & Healing for Abuse Survivors.

 

 

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Triggers – When Something Upsets you More than One would Expect

If a particular sound, sight, smell, place or person makes you feel uneasy or even alarmed every time you are exposed to it, the thing causing that response is often called a trigger. It is because there is a superficial similarity between the trigger and something that was present when you had an unpleasant past experience.

A trigger might cause a vague feeling or something much more vivid – perhaps even a flashback or body memory – or it might cause an alter to suddenly appear or disappear. Regardless of whether it causes a memory to consciously surface, however, it alerts you to the fact that something from your past needs healing.

A trigger occurs when there is something in a situation that bears a superficial similarity to past trauma and suddenly it is as if one were back in the traumatic situation. A popularly known example is a soldier returning to the safety of home, ducking for cover at the sound of a car backfiring.

What people find triggering differs according to the exact nature of their past trauma and things their mind associates with that upsetting event. For one person it might, for instance, be someone using the same aftershave as a former abuser. The connection only has to be vague. For someone afraid of snakes, for example, an eel could trigger a panic attack.

When one is triggered, taking note of one’s surroundings is often helpful if it helps remind oneself that one is in the second decade of the twenty-first century and not back when the abuse originally happened, or if it confirms that the geographical location is different to that when the trauma took place. Looking in a mirror might significantly help by reminding you that you are an adult and not the helpless child you were when the original trauma happened.

When a trigger occurs, try to take some deep, slow breaths and calm yourself.

Though unpleasant, triggers can cause forgotten memories to surface, and so end up assisting healing. Being triggered by something that did not previously upset one might even indicate that a new alter has surfaced and getting to know and reassure that alter will greatly promote healing.

Like the conscious surfacing of unpleasant memories (see Bad Memories, Flashbacks & Nightmares) triggers are unpleasant but can open the way to further advancement on the healing journey, especially if you start investigating the cause of the trigger. Think and pray and journal and ask alters about it until you learn what event in your past caused the trigger. Then commence work on healing that memory. See Healing of Memories.

The following is a general explanation about the formation of triggers.

I suffered migraines as a teen and was prescribed pills to take at the onset of migraines. The pills looked remarkably like M&M candy. I had to chew it and doing so would instantly make me feel like vomiting. They had no positive effect on the migraines, so I soon stopped taking them. From then on, however, if I ever saw M&Ms – and especially if I thought of eating one – I would feel nauseous. Through slowly deliberately exposing myself to them I eventually trained myself not to have that reaction, but until then, M&Ms were a trigger for me. My mind told me that M&Ms were chemically very different from the medication but the superficial similarity between the two provoked an uncontrollable reaction within me as if I were back in time with an on-coming migraine, reacting to that medication.

Everyone – even animals – can have peculiar triggers that reflect past experiences. You might have heard of Pavlov’s dogs. Knowing that dogs salivate when eating, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist conducted an experiment in which a bell sounded every time the dogs were about to be fed. Before long, the connection between the bell and eating grew so strong in the dogs’ brains that when the bell sounded, the dogs would salivate even if there were no food.

 

 

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Healing from Inner Pain

Healing from Inner Pain

God, Counselors & Inner Healing: Divine Healing of Inner Pain

When Inner Pain Returns

 

 

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Trials, Discouragement

Feeling Worse, Rather than Better

Why God Requires Christians with D.I.D. to Focus on Healing

When Inner Pain Returns

Low Self-Esteem

When Things Get Tough and keep following the main link at the end of each page.

Help When You Feel You’ve Failed

Hope When There Seems No Hope

The Positive Benefits of D.I.D.: Does Multiple Personality Disorder Create a Superior Brain?

Healing Testimony: When Hating an Alter Turns to Love

Negativity – Little Hope for a Bright Future (below)

 

 

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Negativity – Little Hope for a Bright Future

It is most important that alters share bad memories with each other but it is also critical to healing that they share good memories, achievements and good things that have happened in their lives. Moreover, they need to keep reminding themselves, and each other, of these good things. Unless alters tell each other about the good things they have experienced, some alters will never know. Here’s a dramatic example of the distressing implications of being kept ignorant about good things: An alter believed that a critical part of his body had been permanently severed. He believed it had been chopped off because his father had grabbed an axe and angrily said he would chop it off. Just before the axe fell, the terrified alter fled inside and another alter took over. It turned out that the threat was never carried out but the alter was sure that it would happen and never knew the good news until very many years later when another alter finally told him.

Even sharing mildly good things is important because without it alters are left with a twisted view of their past and predict their future on the basis of this misinformation. It will seem to them that perhaps 98% of their lives has been continual horrors when it was really perhaps only 1%.

This is such an important subject that I have made it into a separate webpage: There’s Hope! A Sane Guide to Finding Hope When There is No Hope. Please read it.

For still more help in overcoming a damagingly negative view of one’s future, see:

 

 

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When Abilities or Alters Vanish: When Alters Die, Disappear or Go Missing

Alters can go deep into hiding or they can go to be with God for a while but alters cannot die without the entire person also dying. Nevertheless, just as some alters convince themselves that they are not human, some can convince themselves that they are dead, even though they are aware that they are still thinking. They might think it is safer or less painful to be dead (and so be afraid to admit to themselves that they are alive) or mistakenly think their abuser killed them. Helping those who prefer to think they are dead is similar to helping those who think they are the opposite sex or less than human. Basically, it is helping them realize that it is now safe to be who they really are. For more, see When Alters See Themselves as Someone or Something they are Not

Alters could see another alter kill himself/herself and that alter might never have been seen since. Since alters cannot die while the body is still alive, this is not as alarming as it seems. What actually happened was that the alter suddenly felt so unable to cope that he/she went deep into hiding, thus forcing another alter to take his/her place. At the time, however, it can be quite traumatic for two reasons:

    1. The situation that caused the alter to disappear or ‘die’ must itself have been very distressing.

    2. Alters who vanish leave the other alters not only without their companionship and protection but without all the knowledge and skills they had accumulated.

If you suddenly lose abilities it is probably because an alter who has that knowledge or skill has withdrawn. A likely cause is that the alter feels overwhelmed due to physical, mental or emotional exhaustion, or something happened to frighten the alter. (Often this is just because an event has a superficial similarity to a past trauma, such as meeting someone who uses the same cologne as a previous abuser.)

When it is an alter who is usually out, however, the loss is likely to be very disconcerting because much valuable information is stored exclusively with the alter. (For this reason, it is important to encourage alters to share their skills and information and train up each other.) The positive side, however, is that it forces other alters to assume greater responsibility. This can help them develop and gain confidence and sometimes it can give you the opportunity to meet (and hence help) alters you have never met before.

Encourage alters (especially new ones) to understand that they are very important and needed. Keep reminding yourselves of the motto, “Stronger together.”

One cannot know how long an alter will remain out of contact. Often it is not long. A way to shorten the time is every now and then say out loud (in case the alter happens to be listening) that you need the alter and give reasons why it is safe for the alter to be out. Simply being kind and supportive to the alters who are out might entice the alter out as he or she sees that alters who talk to you are well treated.

To avoid losing all contact with an alter, see A Safe Internal Haven for details about creating a nice, secure place for alters who want to be alone to retreat to.

Recently surfaced alters are easily overwhelmed because so much in the way of current events and circumstances is new and unexpected. Often they just withdraw in order to think things through and soon come out again.

Sometimes people mistake alters going into hiding with integration but integration does not mean losing contact with one’s alters.

For more about losing alters, and hence losing their abilities, see:

 

 

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A Safe Internal Haven for Alters to Retreat to

Young alters need a safe place where they can play and act like children, and develop as a result, without outside people thinking them weird. Alters – even hosts – can sometimes temporarily become too overwhelmed by external events to be able to remain in contact with the outside world. It is far from ideal for any alter to withdraw but sometimes alters can feel unable to stay out and so retreat for a while in order to recover. If they just disappear, some alters are likely to feel alarmed as to what happened to the alter and those who are forced to take over in the alter’s absence are likely to flounder in the outside world without critically-needed information known only to the alter who has disappeared. This loss of information might, for example, cause them to lose their job or leave them without necessary money because they are unable to access their bank account. Furthermore, the alter who has gone will have no way of knowing when it is safe to come out again.

These serious problems with withdrawing can be resolved by using one’s powerful imagination to create a safe, beautiful haven inside that is spacious and peaceful and filled with fun things to do. You can create your own variations but I’ll provide an example of how it might work.

What makes this haven safe is that on the outside it is a fortress that can be entered only by alters who know the exact password and whose fingerprint (or whatever) is recognized by the uncrackable security system. Inside it is light and spacious. It could have trees, meadows, waterfalls, flowers, birds and cute animals to play with or ride as well as playground equipment for little alters. It is a place where alters can chat with each other and with Jesus and have fun together.

Within this wonderful place are still more fortresses. These are retreats. Each alter has one. On the outside they look just like a row of solid iron doors, each of which has the name of a different alter, indicating to whom it belongs, and below that is a sign that either says Vacant or Occupied. The impenetrable door will open only to the voice and fingerprint of the alter whose name is on the outside. On the inside it is beautiful and amazingly spacious, decked out with whatever the alter decides will make him/her the most relaxed and comfortable. Whenever the owner enters, the Vacant sign on the door changes to Occupied. That way, if ever an alter retreats, alters who are allowed in the Safe Haven can go to the doors, see the one with the alter’s name on it, and if it says Occupied they will know where the alter is, although they will not be able to go inside. Everyone knows that an alter inside his/her retreat needs to be left alone until he/she is ready to come out.

On the solid door, however, is an intercom that allows alters to speak to the one inside. The one inside cannot switch off the intercom, but alters respect the desire of the one inside to be left alone and they keep communication to a minimum. They use the intercom primarily just to reassure the alter and also to inform him/her as to when things in the external world have become safer. When absolutely necessary, alters will also use the intercom to seek critically-needed information that is required for those left in charge to perform important tasks in the outside world.

For detailed suggestions and help in creating an inner world that will facilitate healing, see How to Cure Dissociative Identity Disorder: Turning Disorder into Order

 

 

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Therapist/Counselor/Human Support

Don’t settle for anyone less than the best. Jesus is by far the greatest friend, counselor and healer anyone could ever have. You need no one else. Often, however, like Naaman’s healing being dependent upon humbling himself by washing seven times in the dirty Jordan (2 Kings 5:10-14), God asks us to humble ourselves by seeking human help. The Lord likes involving his loved ones in his work, not because he needs them, but simply because he delights in giving them the honor.

On the other hand, we must never dethrone God and put a human in his place. It is dangerously easy to become as dependent upon a human as a junkie is on heroin. This not only dishonors God, it degrades us; turning us into leeches sucking the life out of people and eroding our relationship with the most beautiful Person in the universe. We need to counter this tendency by continually reminding ourselves that our only need is God, not people. At any moment, God can raise up a replacement for any person or take over and do it all himself.

Even without any formal training, friends and loved ones are capable of being an immense support, if they are gentle, non-judgmental and accepting of D.I.D. I urge them to read all the links on Free Christian Resources for Dissociative Identity Disorder, plus How to Comfort the Hurting and the pages it leads to.

Christian counselors with little knowledge of D.I.D. can also be of great value, provided they are willing to learn and they do not seek to undermine your belief that you have D.I.D. or mistake alters for demons.

Secular counselors can be of some value.

Your choice of counselor, however, and even who you choose to let know that you have D.I.D. is critically important; demanding much wisdom and prayer. For help with this, see:

 

 

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Trust Issues

To quote from Fear: Help & Cure

    One of the greatest ways to honor God is to trust him and it is something we need to continually work on. Thankfully, however, our wonderful Lord understands better than we do that trusting him is so much harder for those whose trust has been violated by key people in their life – especially if it happened repeatedly during their tender, most impressionable years.

    Simply having more fear or doubt than other Christians you know is not an acceptable reason for despising oneself. The devil is the Christian’s accuser (Revelation 12:10). Trying to make you feel bad about yourself is part of his job description. So let’s not put him out of a job by doing it for him.

For much more help with trusting God, see Fears & Concerns About God

For issues regarding trusting people, see:

          Human Support (above)

          Dependency – Too Attached to Someone (below)

 

 

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Dependency – Too Attached to Someone

It is not emotionally healthy for anyone to have to keep secrets from everyone. We all need good friends, even though we should first thoroughly check out who is safe to share confidences with (see Human Support).

However, having been cruelly isolated and starved of any kindness makes many alters desperate to be understood, cared for, and protected. This makes them highly vulnerable to forming abnormally strong attachments to anyone who seems to offer compassion. It might, for instance, be a kind, motherly person, a counselor, or a pastor. Little alters are often so desperate for someone acting like a proper father or mother – rather than the cold or even abusive parents they had while growing up – that they are keen to treat as a mother or father almost anyone who shows them basic kindness.

The danger of these emotional pressures is that it opens alters up to exploitation by anyone who has less than the highest standards. Some alters have been taught by their abusers that love equals sex or that sex is the only way they can ever get even a crude, inadequate substitute for love. Pressured by their desperate emotional needs and the training their abusers forced on them, some alters are even seductive. The heart-rending desperation of these love-starved alters is proof of the truth of Proverbs 27:7 that to the hungry even what is bitter seems sweet. Unfortunately, even if the host is strongly heterosexual or opposed to any thought of sex, that does not, of itself, mean that none of his/her alters is capable of forming sexual attachments with someone, even if that person is the same gender. Even if the host is going to marry someone, it is not good for little alters to regard that person as a father or mother, as it could give the relationship incestuous overtones.

Besides the possibility of a confused alter being seductive, predators are skilled at detecting vulnerable people who have been subjected to these pressures in the past and they actively seek out such people with a view to exploiting them sexually.

It is extremely hard to be certain that someone is totally safe. Suppose, however, that you were to form a strong attachment with an exceptionally good, safe person: it will still almost certainly weaken the bond alters should be forming with each other and with Jesus. In order to heal from one’s fracturedness, one’s alters need to bond with oneself and one’s other alters. Some alters will end up skilled at mothering little alters and it will be a satisfying relationship both for those giving the care and those receiving it. More importantly, it will forge a strong connection between those parts of the person engaging in this and the result will do much to repair the person’s fracturedness. In addition, in order to heal from their deep emotional and spiritual wounds, alters need to bond with Jesus. He alone is the perfect Father. Few people are as safe for the little alters of an adult to play with as Jesus and no one understands them as well as he does.

Another serious issue with strong attachments is that the more intense the relationship, the more likely it is that the carer will burn out. Someone’s highest intentions are not enough to keep a person from burning out, nor from his/her situation changing so that the relationship needs to change. A major consideration is that someone with D.I.D. is likely to be needy for years longer than the carer expects and that any change in the relationship can be devastating to someone with D.I.D.

Someone with Dissociative Identity Disorder wrote to me saying a leader in her church told her that he could treat her as a father. She was a mature, independent person. Fathering such a person takes little time and effort, and I’m sure that was what he envisioned. Parenting a child, however, is an enormously time-consuming, lifelong commitment. This is not what he was offering but it would be taken that way by young alters and so would almost certainly end in heartbreak if they went down that path.

Professional therapists are trained to maintain an emotional distance from their clients (and often will not, for example, hug them) and they have codes to ensure this is maintained. It can seem a little cold but there are good, time-proven reasons for this. I long for you not to be one of the many who end up learning the hard way the importance of applying this to other non-marital relationships as well.

It is normal for abuse survivors to find it difficult to trust anyone. Unfortunately, this further intensifies the tendency to form strong bonds, once trust is gained. Rather than having less intense relationships with several people, when it comes to people they are willing to open up to, it tends to be all or nothing, with the result that the needy person feels highly dependent upon one person. This is a concern, given the fact that anyone with D.I.D. is likely to be needy for many years and not even the best carers can guarantee never to die, get sick, burn out or eventually need to move on. Jesus, on the other hand, has no such limitations

See also Coping with the Loss of a Counselor/Support Person

 

 

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Coping with Criticism, Hurtful Remarks and People Who Do Not Understand

See:

 

 

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When Alters Can’t Speak

Alters who are unable to talk, are likely to understand at least some of what you say and the mere act of talking to them could help them learn to speak. Chances are that you can also communicate with each other through thoughts, mental images and/or feelings. Additionally, you can communicate through gifts, facial expressions, hugs and so on. (You can hug or hold an alter’s hand by strongly visualizing doing it, but be cautious at first in case the alter fears physical contact.) Sometimes you might even be able to communicate by writing notes to each other.

We can comfort babies who are too young to talk by holding them, singing to them, safely playing with them, feeding them and so on. You can use the same methods with alters who were formed as babies and have never had the chance to grow. Just as babies grow and learn to speak, however, so will baby alters, once you begin interacting with them, and this can happen quicker than with real babies. For more, see Baby Alters.

Sometimes it is not because of their age that alters do not speak but because their abusers made them very timid. Alters might, for example, have a history of being told to shut up or being misunderstood when they tried to communicate and being punished accordingly. Another possibility is that not speaking is consistent with their self-image, such as thinking of themselves as being non-human.

Another possible reason for alters not speaking is that they have been threatened by their abusers never to speak about their abuse and they have not only believed the threats but have taken them to the extreme of not talking at all. Obviously, in this case, they need repeated assurance that it is safe to talk with you and that old threats cannot materialize.

Yet another possibility is that another alter might be threatening this alter into silence. Usually, this is because the alter issuing the gag order still believes threats issued by the abuser if alters talk. Alternatively, the alter doing the silencing might think life will get too complicated if another alter reveals himself/herself. In these cases, the answer lies not in trying to get the silenced alter to disobey the other alter (and so making that alter mad at you) but in helping the alter doing the silencing to understand that it is safe for other alters to talk with you. This might also encourage the alter to let other alters you are unaware of to reveal themselves.

 

 

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When Some Alters Seem to have a Physical Disability

It is possible for some alters to seem to have a physical disability, when the same person’s other alters do not. It can be as mild as an alter who needs reading glasses or walks with a limp or is tone deaf to when another does not, or as severe as one alter being totally blind or deaf.

There are different possible reasons for this.

1. A disability that you grew out of

For example, a friend of mine has an alter formed as an adult who is not surefooted and often falls when walking on uneven surfaces. Her younger alters are much more confident and capable walking on rugged terrain. Ironically, however, one of the alters more capable at walking, walks with a limp. Today this person still has a lump on her knee but it causes her no inconvenience. It is due to a painful condition that sometimes occurs in children but ceases to be a problem as they grow up (Osgood–Schlatter disease). Obviously, the alter who limps was formed at the time in the person’s life when the disease was active and she has vivid memories of the pain and of how she used to have to walk to minimize that pain.

I am reminded of a dog I once read about. As a pup one of its legs was caught in the steel jaws of a rabbit trap. The dog fully recovered but whenever the dog was frightened it would revert to limping for a little while. This is not exactly the same as the situation described above but it is another possible variation.

2. An alter who feels safer with a disability

In Alters Thinking They’re the Opposite Sex it is explained that it is common for alters to convince themselves that they are the opposite sex and that a common cause is that they believe that if they were the opposite sex they would be treated better and perhaps no longer subjected to sexual abuse. What motivates a distorted self-image is that alters are desperate to give themselves some respite from the constant terror of believing they will again be abused. Some alters even convince themselves they are dogs because their observations tell them that dogs are better treated than they are. It is quite possible that some observation might lead an alter to believe he/she would be safer and/or better treated if he/she had a disability. For example, one person with D.I.D. has an alter who is apparently deaf. Certain family members suffered deafness. Perhaps one or more of those in the family who were deaf had been treated more kindly than the alter.

A variation on this is if a deaf person were the abuser and the alter is an Introject Alter i.e. an alter who believes he/she is the abuser. (This is similar in that it is safer to be the abuser than to be the victim.)

Another possibility is an alter who discovered that if he/she displayed certain symptoms, such as a seizure, he/she would be hospitalized or for some other reason be granted time-out from abuse.

Yet another possibility is an alter who yearns to not hear abuse or see abuse and so convinces himself/herself that he/she cannot hear or see.

In such cases, the first step is to help the alter realize that he/she is now safe, and so there are now no advantages in having a disability.

3. Conversion Disorder

According to Wikipedia, “A conversion disorder causes patients to suffer from neurological symptoms, such as numbness, blindness, paralysis, or fits without a definable organic cause. It is thought that symptoms arise in response to stressful situations affecting a patient's mental health. . . . The term ‘conversion’ has its origins in Freud’s doctrine that anxiety is ‘converted’ into physical symptoms”.

Since (until they begin to heal) some alters keep certain stresses exclusively to themselves and/or cope with trauma in an individual way, it would not be surprising if some alters suffer from Conversion Disorder, whereas others are quite free from it.

4. The Complicated Causes of Sickness

Alters vary as to how in touch they are with what their current physical body is feeling.

There is more to illness than the mere exposure to germs. One dramatic demonstration of this is found in the tragic lives of Siamese twins, Masha and Dasha, who were born in 1950 and taken from their mother from birth (she was told they had died) and subjected to years of experiments by Soviet medical authorities. They shared the one bladder, lower intestine and reproductive system. Of their three legs, two were functional. Masha controlled one. Dasha controlled the other. Yet though they shared organs and the same disease-carrying blood, they contracted illnesses separately. When one was stricken with measles, for instance, the other was perfectly well (Source). One’s mind plays a significant role in physical illness.

See Sickness, Physical – Complications with D.I.D.

 

 

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If I Tell Anyone About What Happened to Me, I’ll Never Be Believed

Now that you live in a more mature body, you are more likely to be regarded as a credible witness. What you suffered might be so rare that average people don’t understand it, and should not be trusted with such information without first thoroughly checking out their attitude to such things without hinting that it applies to you. Nevertheless, there are people who have suffered similar things to what happened to you and they and their counselors would believe you. God knows exactly what happened and in the life to come, if not before, all will be revealed.

 

 

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“Useless” Alters

Alters can seem too young or too traumatized or dysfunctional or too opposed to you to be anything but a burden. Nevertheless, alters can heal and grow and change dramatically and sometimes remarkably quickly.

The more annoying or useless an alter seems, the more astounded you will be when you see what an invaluable friend and magnificent person the alter becomes as he/she heals and reaches his/her stupendous, but once-hidden, potential.

Alters are like your children who might start off as helpless, crying babies who take up your time and ruin your sleep but when they grow up you will be forever proud of them. They will grow into highly capable, talented and loyal friends who will faithfully serve you and enrich your life beyond your fondest hopes. When the transformation is complete you will discover that every alter is priceless and irreplaceable. You would not part with any of them if offered millions of dollars.

For much more about this, see Understand How Critical it is to Find Your Every Alter.

God wants you to love others as you love yourself (Mark 12:31-34; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8); doing for them what we wish they would do for us (Matthew 7:12). How would you like to be spurned and considered of no value or treated as if you were not even human or a liar? Haven’t you already received far too much such treatment in your life? Isn’t it time to break that cycle?

How do you wish you had been treated as you were growing up? Treat your alters like that.

“Give, and it will be given to you” (Luke 6:38). As you do it for them, you will find you are doing it for yourself because they are an inseparable part of you.

You were robbed of so much love and kindness and fun and enjoyment of God in your formative years. By giving your alters your loving attention and helping them enjoy the childish fun and other things you missed out on, you are restoring yourself and filling a huge void within you.

You are called to be like Jesus and follow his example. He is the good shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine behind and even though it’s the end of a tiring day, he trudges up and down hills, looking everywhere for a single sheep who did not have the sense to stay with the rest of the flock. And when he finds the sheep, he does not reprimand it; he rejoices. Moreover, he takes that heavy, nuisance of a sheep, and lifts it up, putting it on his shoulders and lugs it all the way back to the other sheep; delighted that he has found the one that had been lost (Luke 15:4-6). That’s how God longs for you to treat your alters.

Consider the parable of the talents. Our eternal loss or endless reward hinges on how much we have ignored or developed whatever has been entrusted into our care (Matthew 25:15-30). You might think you have higher obligations to your work, your family, and so on, than to your alters. The more you help your alters, however, the more effectively you will be able to nurture your family and the more you will thrive in your employment.

 

 

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Loss of Time

An alter could take over your body and when you next become aware of things, hours or even days could have passed. Sometimes this is because something happened that alarmed you and rather than face it you uncontrollably withdrew from conscious interaction with the world; forcing other parts of you to take over. Often this is not because of any real danger but because something happened that caused you to panic because it bore some superficial similarity to a traumatic experience you once suffered. For more on this, see When Abilities or Alters Vanish.

Another possible reason for losing time is simply because an alter took over – perhaps because he/she believed she could better handle that particular situation or perhaps simply because he/she wanted “body-time”. For more on this, see Alters Coming Out at Inappropriate Times

For more about lost time, see Forgetting Things

 

 

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Sickness – Extra Complications When You Have D.I.D.

D.I.D. adds many complications to being physically ill, including:

    [*] You could have alters who are terrified of doctors and/or hospitals.

    [*] You could switch to alters who are so disconnected that they are unable to feel your physical pain or are unaware of doctor’s instructions and so they could unknowingly worsen injuries or illnesses you are recovering from. This is one of many reasons why it is important to keep all of your alters as informed as possible about current events and to help them realize that all of you share the same body, which makes it critical for them to be cautious and treat the body well even when they feel no pain, etc.

    [*] Being sick can be a terrifying thing to traumatized alters because it means you are temporarily less strong and able to defend yourself. Some could even be determined to hide their temporary vulnerability by pushing themselves harder than ever. These alters need to be continually reassured that they are safe.

    [*] At any time you could switch to an alter who is unaware that you have already taken your medication and so can overdose. This makes it important to keep a written record of how much medication has been taken and when. Pill boxes organized by time or days would be very helpful, although it might be good to keep a note next to it as to what day it is.

    [*] Some alters can believe that they deserve to be punished and so sabotage healing as a form of Self-Harm. For help with this, see Deserve to be Punished? No! You Can be Happy & Resist Sickness.

    [*] Parts of you could have little or no desire to live. This has considerable health implications, such as no desire to treat an illness. You might even need to hide the medication to prevent an alter from deliberately overdosing. These parts of you need your help to see that life will improve as you continue to heal from past traumas and that these alters have much to offer this needy world. (For example, there is always a desperate shortage of people who understand D.I.D. and can support those who have it.)

    [*] Little alters need matters like menstruation explained to them lest they needlessly panic, assuming they are in more danger than they are.

    [*] A number of people with D.I.D. have reported having different reactions to the same medication, depending upon which alter is out.

Wikipedia states, “almost all physical illness have mental factors that determine their onset, presentation, maintenance, susceptibility to treatment, and resolution.”

Says Robert C. Bransfield, M.D., “All diseases have a psychic [mind] and somatic [body] component, however, either component may be more dominant in different disease states.” (In each quote, the emphasis is mine.)

This intimate interaction between one’s mind and physical illness makes it highly likely that suffering years of inner turmoil and stress will adversely affect one’s physical health – perhaps seriously so – and that the sooner you can help each of your alters relax and find peace, the healthier you are likely to be.

For more help, see:

 

 

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New Alters – Creating New Alters

If you experience new trauma, new alters might be formed but the trauma would usually have to be severe. Often what happens is simply that an alter comes forward that you have not previously been aware of. Some alters see their role as keeping in the background until a crisis and sometimes alters are forced into taking leading roles when other alters who usually predominate vacate their usual position because they need a break for some reason.

 

 

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Demons

A few alters, because of their tragically low self-esteem created by their abusers, might mistakenly think they are demons, and some uninformed people might sometimes mistake highly confused alters for demons simply because some alters have been tricked into doing bad things. Nevertheless, alters are never demons, and even when confused alters do bad things, it does not prove demons are involved. Moreover, even in rare instances where demons trick alters, this can be easily rectified.

For true Christians, demons are nothing more than a harmless nuisance. Just as everyone – even the best Christian – is tempted, everyone has dealings with demons. In fact, although we often talk of the devil tempting us, it is almost always his underlings – demons – since the devil does not have God’s unique power of omnipresence (able to be everywhere at once).

Not even the weakest Christian need fear the strongest demon. It’s as if all Christians have guns loaded with live ammunition and demons are weaklings with nothing more than blanks in their weapons. If a Christian imagined his/her gun is unloaded and that the demons’ guns are loaded, the Christian might cower, not use his/her weapon, and let demons order him/her around, but doing so would be as ridiculously needless as being scared of a butterfly.

It is very traumatic for an alter and can significantly impede healing if he or she is mistaken for a demon. One must be very careful not to make this mistake and it is very easily done as some alters can initially seem very evil. For the importance of not mistaking an alter for a demon, see Dissociative Identity Disorder is Not Demonic. For help in how to distinguish between demons and alters, see Discerning Between Demons & Alters.

If you really are confronting demons, you need to know that if we let them, demons can be a nuisance but to the weakest Christian who understands, they are less of a concern than pesky flies. Just hold on to Jesus, stubbornly stand your ground and, as Jesus’ ambassador, keep ordering them to leave. Keep refusing to take no for an answer and these cowardly trespassers will slink off. For help, see:

 

 

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Porn/Masturbation

It is common for those who have suffered sex abuse to engage in masturbation and/or viewing porn in an attempt to help them cope. Sometimes it can actually be a form of self-harm and even when it is not, the result is a bit like self-harm in that it is a desperate attempt to cope with the inner pain that has serious downsides. For example, some alters might do this without understanding that it re-traumatizes one or more other alters.

For more, see:

 

 

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Baby Alters

Baby alters might not be able to speak but, like real babies, they are likely to understand more of what you say than they might be able to repeat and they can still be comforted. They might communicate with you through thoughts or feelings or memories. You might feel very inadequate when it comes to comforting a baby but do your best. In time you might discover an alter who is quite good at it and perhaps even enjoys it.

Baby alters will eventually learn to speak and will grow up. It can happen far faster than for a real baby. All that is needed is for the alter to learn how to access other alters’ skills. As your healing progresses your alters will become quite proficient in doing this.

Anything that could comfort a real baby, such as singing or playing lullabies, holding the baby, giving it toys and/or a special blanket, feeding it, and so on, is likely to help a baby alter. Some people even need to temporarily wear diapers, drink formula milk out of a bottle and/or use a pacifier in order to help baby alters feel safe and comforted and to give them some body-time in order to grow up. When a baby alter is out, you might find yourself unable to walk or control your bladder. I can understand you not wanting to go down that path but you will truly end up benefitting from it.

See:

For help with slightly older alters, see Little Alters.

 

 

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Gender Issues: Alters who Think They are the Opposite Sex

It is common for some alters to think they are the opposite sex because it helps them feel safer. Their experience gave them the impression that they would have been less vulnerable to abuse if they had been the opposite sex. Another possible reason for some alters convincing themselves they are the opposite sex is because they were sexually abused by someone of the same gender, and regarding themselves as the opposite sex to their abuser removed some of their inner conflict over the horrors they were forced to endure.

Sometimes, alters thinking they are the opposite sex is of little consequence to the rest of the person. If so, this matter might be safely left on the backburner if there are more pressing issues that need to be addressed. It would be helpful to prepare them, however, by helping them understand that it is now safe and good to be the same gender as your physical body.

For much more help, see:

 

 

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Feeling Emotionally Numb, Unable to Feel

Here’s how I commence Learning to Feel:

    Emotions are a significant part of what distinguishes us from rocks and plants and animals and make us like God. They make us warm and alive and compassionate, rather than cold and lifeless and machinelike. Abusers, however, often try to dehumanize those they hurt by not wanting them to express emotions. Often they beat their victims if they show emotion and thus cause alters to fear that emotions will cause them to be beaten. Chances are, however, that you are now older, stronger and more independent and your former abusers cannot physically hurt you anymore. If so, you are able to get in touch with your emotions and no one will hurt you for it. And doing so will bring healing.

In Cure for Self-Harm I write:

    When people receive bad news they are usually left numb with shock. How long this lasts varies, with a key factor being how willing the person is to face the reality and full implications of the news. When someone has been traumatized, this numbness lasts indefinitely if the person is unwilling to face the full reality of what happened. People can be so determined not to let themselves feel the natural horror, grief and anger that such an experience produces that they become disconnected from their feelings. An added reason for this happening is that some people believe that anger, hate and bitterness are wrong. Some even feel condemned over experiencing deep sorrow. So, rather than resolve such feelings, many people keep suppressing the feelings, refusing to admit to themselves that these feelings/attitudes are boiling just below the surface. It’s like having cancer and supposing that if you stoically refuse to think about it, the cancer will magically disappear. Just as removing from our consciousness an unhealed part of our body does not cause it to heal, neither does removing unresolved issues from our consciousness cause them to become resolved.

    This denial of one’s true feelings produces a numbness so unnatural and disconcerting that many people feel driven to inflict pain on themselves simply to give them something they can feel. Pain feels a particularly appropriate choice to them because deep down they know they should be feeling and expressing their pain over past suffering that still haunts them because it remains unresolved.

Some Christians mistakenly imagine that not getting in touch with the depth of one’s feelings is a sign of being godly but, as explained in Real Christians Grieve, this is distorting biblical truth until it becomes quite unbiblical.

For much more help, read all of Learning to Feel.

 

 

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Feelings/Emotions that Seem to Come from Nowhere & How to Cope with Them

Unexpected feelings that do not match your current circumstances or mood seem puzzling to those who do not understand Dissociative Identity Disorder but is actually a common feature of D.I.D.

Feelings that puzzle you could possibly be because something just happened that reminds you of a past event that strongly impacted you, but most likely it is because it reminds another part of you (an alter). Or it could simply be because an alter who has strong feelings and is usually deep inside is now closer to the surface of your consciousness and that alter’s emotions are washing over you.

The feelings can be highly distressing and so overwhelming that you cannot think straight. If you can manage it, however, this is a superb opportunity for you to make contact with this part of you and for you to get to know him/her and offer comfort and reassurance.

If you feel fear, tell yourself (preferably out loud), how much safer you now are than when you were younger and all the reasons why there is no need to fear. Since the alter is so close that his/her feelings are impacting you, there is a good chance that the alter will hear what you say.

Do similar things if other negative emotions are involved.

If it feels appropriate with a distressed alter, ask if it would be okay if you gave him/her a safe hug. If the answer seems to be yes then, even if you have no idea what the alter looks like, strongly imagine yourself giving the alter a reassuring hug. Also, ask the alter why he/she feels this way.

For as long as the alter is present, keep continuing to establish a rapport with the alter. For example, if the opportunity presents itself ask if the alter has a name and ask if he/she knows how old he/she is.

You might not seem to achieve much the first time but every such instance increases the likelihood of you being able to help and befriend this part of you and further your healing.

See also:

 

 

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Sleep Problems and/or Insomnia

Sleep Problems & Dissociative Identity Disorder

When Stress & Trauma Cause Sleeplessness

Help with Nightmares (Below)

 

 

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Dreams & Nightmares

Nightmares and some dreams can be exceedingly unpleasant, so don’t waste them. They contain valuable information, so record them. This needs to be done as quickly as possible, even if it is the middle of the night, because many dreams fade from one’s memory amazingly quickly. The obvious place to record them is in your journal, which ideally, should be kept by the side of your bed. An alternative is to keep something next to your bed that allows you to jot things down (or the audio equivalent) and later transfer them to somewhere more permanent.

Writing out what you dreamed and thinking about them when relaxed and fully conscious can help remove some of their terror and might possibly prove beneficial, should the dream recur. The practice also provides a good opportunity to ask alters about the dream – what does it mean to them, how do they feel about it, and so on.

Nightmares and unpleasant dreams are your mind dutifully alerting you to matters you must face before they become even more serious. It is warning you that, despite your attempts to move on, you are still being crippled by past trauma. Most likely, your lack of recovery is because you have left past events languishing in the dark – where things always seem scarier – instead of devoting sufficient effort to prayerfully re-examining them in the reassuring light of God’s truth. For instance, lurking in the murky depths of your consciousness could be the fear that ugly incidents in the past indicate that God abandoned you and that he is not good and trustworthy, or that because of those unfortunate events God sees you as untrustworthy or unforgivable, or that you see yourself that way. If so, these are not merely events in the past; they are fears and lies that hold you back right now and will continue to do so until you identify the lies that haunt you and you explode them with God’s truth.

Some dreams are the mind trying to come to terms with things that have been bothering you. You might not have even been conscious that these matters were bothering you. They can also be valuable in giving you insight into what some of your alters might be coping with. In fact, some dreams can actually be alters seeking to communicate with you, either by symbolically revealing how they feel or by sharing accurate memories. Additionally, some dreams are alters trying to come to terms with things by imagining themselves in various scenarios.

Dreams can sometimes be like flashbacks – accurate memories of past events that you may or may not be aware happened – but at other times they are symbolic.

I know a woman who repeatedly has nightmares in which blood is everywhere and she is being sacrificed on an altar by Christians. In reality, she has never in her life been on an altar, nor have Christians physically attacked her – except her parents, who claimed to be Christians, had often mercilessly beat her on the buttocks (without drawing blood). These nightmares were not of literal events but were her mind expressing how it felt to be on the receiving end of the way certain church-goers had treated her and how horrifying, heartless and malicious their actions had been. The dream might seem a gross exaggeration but it was emotionally accurate. What they had done to her over and over in real life by verbally attacking her, falsely accusing her and persistently trying to take her baby from her, had literally filled her with terror and had brought her within a hair’s breadth of suicide. The altar in her dream was symbolically appropriate because altars have religious overtones and it was in the name of religion that these people had so deeply traumatized her. For years, the dream had kept repeating because in her mind the matter remained unresolved. She continued to fear in the present a repeat from other Christians of what she had suffered in the past.

This woman is also plagued by other nightmares in which she sees corpses and she is accused of having killed them. In her dream, she cannot actually recall having killed anyone but she fears that she might have. She also gets the impression that one of the dead bodies is that of her only child. This often-repeated nightmare is not because she has ever physically hurt anyone but is a manifestation of the severe anxiety she suffers.

To help you understand, I need for a moment to explain anxiety. Anxiety feels like a guilty conscience, and excess anxiety can have peculiar effects on those who suffer it. A common example is sensitive new mothers who are plagued with thoughts of killing their babies. We have all heard of post-natal depression. Clinical anxiety (anxiety induced by a medical condition) and clinical depression are closely linked (often the same medication is prescribed for both) and the anxiety new mothers sometimes suffer has a very similar medical basis to post-natal depression. What any nervous mother most fears is hurting her baby. This, when magnified by excess anxiety, can cause some mothers to be so plagued by fears of harming their baby that they find themselves unwillingly imagining harming them (by stabbing them, for example). That is the last thing they would ever want and they are so horrified to suffer such a thought that they become preoccupied with it and so keep having the thought over and over. This is just one example of what clinical anxiety can do.

This woman’s nightmares about possibly having killed people have similarities to what some anxiety-plagued new mothers suffer (even though her own child is now an adult), and the nightmares are also powered by her low self-esteem and the false accusations she has been subjected to.

I have cited these two nightmares because had there been gaps in this woman’s memories – thankfully there were not – she could easily have wrongly presumed that instead of being symbolic, the vivid dreams were memories of actual literal events coming to her while she slept. She might have even, while awake, have concluded she was remembering her past when she was only remembering her dream.

A very valuable way of coping with an unpleasant dream is, as soon as one becomes aware of it, use your imagination to turn it around so that it has a happier ending. For example, if you were running from a monster, see yourself stopping, turning around and facing him and see him fleeing from you in terror. At first, you will be able to do this only after fully waking but as it becomes a habit, you may find yourself being able to do this while half-asleep. A particular alter of yours might become quite good at this. For more on this and much more valuable information, see How to Cope with Nightmares & Unwanted Dreams

Lucid Sex Dreams is about someone who has D.I.D. and also contains important information.

Dreams, Nightmares & Dissociative Identity Disorder is short but worth reading.

For a related topic, see Sleep & Dissociative Identity Disorder

 

 

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Alters Coming Out at Inappropriate Times

In order to heal, alters have a need for “body-time.” Some have a strong craving for it and object to being kept suppressed as much as anyone would object to jail. Nevertheless, there are times when it is not safe for them to be out, such as an alter who is still only five years old taking over when you are driving or when you are talking with your boss at work. Even coming out every night when you desperately need sleep can cause consternation.

Any alters you oppress by refusing to let them come out, are likely to regard you as their enemy and will do their utmost to sabotage your attempts to control them. If, however, you let them come out as often as possible when you are alone and any other time when it is safe for them to do so, it will be much easier for them to regard you as their friend who has their best interests at heart. This will make them far more likely to respond positively when you explain to them that there are times when being out would not be safe for them.

For more help, see:

 

 

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Physical Pain

There are three parts to this section:

Not Feeling Physical Pain

Some alters can be so mentally disconnected from their body that they cannot feel much in the way of physical pain. This can also extend to not feeling that their body is tired. They cleverly trained themselves to do this as a way of coping with extreme situations. Being like this might seem a blessing but alters need to learn to feel again for the following reasons:

    [*] Being unable to feel physical pain can result in serious injuries (see Numb) as well as unknowingly aggravating existing ailments (see Sickness – Complications with D.I.D.)

    [*] Feeling disconnected from one’s feelings (whether it is physical feeling or emotional feelings) can cause one to feel less than human, and so have a devastating impact on one’s self-esteem.

For more help, see:

Body Memories

When one’s body experiences physical sensations as if past trauma were being repeated, it is sometimes referred to as a body memory. Whereas a flashback is an involuntary, vivid visual memory, a body memory is very similar but what is vividly recalled (as if you were experiencing them all over again), are physical sensations and bodily reactions associated with past trauma. You feel it in your body rather than see it in your mind. These can sometimes be mistaken for physical illnesses, especially if you have no memory of the original event that you are recalling in your bodily reactions.

Headaches etc Caused by Switching Alters

At times, especially when it involves a highly agitated alter who is rarely out of hiding, switching between alters can be physically very demanding and cause headaches, feeling faint, and so on. As alters heal, however, they calm down and adjust to being out, and these physical symptoms become a rarity.

 

 

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Disputes between Alters

Resolving Conflict Between Insiders

Teamwork Among Alters (below)

 

 

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Alters Becoming Achievers by Working Together as a Team

People with Dissociative Identity Disorder start their healing journey barely aware that, despite their best intentions, they have the misfortune of being inwardly like a chaotic rabble scattering in all directions. The highly achievable goal, however, is for one’s alters to move from this internal chaos to becoming a closely knit team achieving great things, pulling together towards a common goal with joy, confidence and determination.

“Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall” (Luke 11:17), but it doesn’t have to be that way. Deuteronomy 32:30 speaks of one person being able to chase many enemies but it goes on to indicate that, by working together, two can put to flight not twice as many but ten times as many. Ecclesiastes 4:12 takes up the theme: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken,” (emphasis mine).

“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” declares Psalm 133:1-3, “ . . . For there the LORD bestows his blessing . . .”

Alters teaming up to multiply their efforts is far more wondrous and powerful, however, than clones becoming achievers by working together. Since each alter has a unique mix of abilities, alters cooperating is like the biblical teaching of the body of Christ:

    1 Corinthians 12:16-26 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But, in fact, God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

For alters to reach their amazing potential, each needs to be treasured and delighted in. At first, this could seem like loving one’s enemies – something which in itself is of great value because it increases Christlikeness – but, having been starved of unconditional love and kindness all their lives, they are desperate for love and keen to please anyone who offers it. They will soon respond by loving back and changing and will become a source of joy.

Each alter needs to be nurtured and encouraged and to discover how much Jesus values them and believes in them.

When pushed aside, alters do weird things because they have been traumatized and lied to and kept out of the loop, but gentle, loving communication breaks the isolation and the weirdness.

Early in their development, alters need guidance and boundaries but, within this safety net, the more freedom they are given, the more they will develop into highly responsible, gifted and indispensable parts of you. And being a part of you means that the stronger they are, the stronger you will be. For more about this see:

A significant way for teamwork to develop is for alters to get to know each other well. Especially with young alters, playing safely with each other can greatly facilitate this. And for every alter, sharing their memories with each other is critically important.

One person was led of God to encourage groups of two or three alters to sleep in the same room. This helped them get to know each other. Every now and then she would deliberately change the arrangement so that each of them had different roommates and so drew closer to still more alters.

For help with different ways to build teamwork, see:

For help in resolving conflict, see Resolving Conflict Between Insiders.

 

 

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Self-Harm

Self-harm is so common among people who have been deeply traumatized as children that it is almost universal. One thing that often works with D.I.D. is to hide knives, etc. This can stop some alters from accessing them.

For general help, see:

 

 

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Low Self-Esteem

Until you fully heal from D.I.D., you can only access a fraction of all the skills and intellectual abilities you have. This means that until you fully heal from D.I.D., you are more competent and gifted than you realize. More than this, however, alters typically have such appallingly low self-esteem that it can make them feel suicidal. This is largely because abusers usually do their utmost to crush their victims self-esteem so as to make them more compliant.

To quote from my webpage Healing and Wholeness for Alters:

    A man told me about an alter of his that had just recently surfaced. “He is kind of a goofball,” he said. “He does not know his name or age.” My heart sank. Hopefully, as a reader of these webpages, you have been so alerted to the sensitivities of alters that you would never use such an insulting name when speaking about alters, especially when they might overhear. In actual fact, if alters first reveal themselves after some alters have already been helped, it is common for them to have overheard conversations and to have grasped from this that they are not the age that they had previously thought they were. Coming to terms with this is confusing for an alter but the dawning of an awareness of an age discrepancy is a sign of intelligence, not stupidity.

Some alters appear only briefly to fill a need and are then quickly buried for many years. Until they start reconnecting with other alters and current reality, such alters never have the opportunity to learn much. Their potential for intellectual achievement, however, can be quite remarkable.

Here’s another quote from the same page as that quoted above:

    I wrote on friendship greeting cards and posted them to some of Alice’s alters. When I had only been aware of a few of Alice’s alters I was better able to give them individual attention, but it grew harder when many more appeared in fairly rapid succession. One day, the alter I had known for the longest time suggested that I give a greeting card to one or two troubled alters. She said that giving them something tangible would be beneficial. I decided to buy many cards that were each different, address each one to a different alter, and write a unique, personal message on each card, affirming my appreciation of that alter. Their excitement over receiving their own greeting card far exceeded my expectations.

    I had often spoken individually to each alter, so I was surprised that the cards would have such a powerful effect on them. Then I realized that most of these alters had not only never in their lives personally received the smallest of gifts, most had not even one item that they could call their own. I ask hosts to think hard about how they might correct this.

    Until I came along, these alters had been in such isolation that they rarely interacted with people and felt dehumanized. Giving each of them a little gift was another significant step in affirming to them that they are truly real and not, as some people think, a figment of the imagination.

    Time and again, I have found that a significant aspect of healing involves alters having their humanity affirmed. It is obviously psychologically unhealthy – depressing at the very least – for a person to feel less than human. Likewise, it is unhealthy for people to have any part of them that feels not human or less than human. For a person to be in his or her prime, each part of the full person needs to be psychologically and spiritually in top condition.

    It is tempting to fear that affirming each alter’s existence and individuality would perpetuate a person’s fracturedness. Consider, however, how restoring each individual part of a machine to full strength and pristine condition would cause the entire machine to function so much better. In fact, fully restored parts fit together better than rusted parts. Likewise, if an alter is empowered to be strong, confident and enjoy life, the entire person will benefit. Moreover, confident, assertive alters feel more empowered to share their secrets, thus breaking down the walls that keep a person fractured.

    Over and over, as I have affirmed alters, building up their self-confidence and relationship with God, I have seen them develop all sorts of unexpected abilities that have immensely benefited the entire person.

It is so very important that you counter a negative self-image by doing all you can to encourage your alters and build them up. A story for alters (especially younger ones) that can help boost self-esteem is Susan has a Secret.

Choosing an alter’s name has significant implications for self-esteem. For more on this, see The Importance of Alters’ Names (below).

For additional help with self-esteeem issues, see:

 

 

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The Importance of Alters’ Names

It is so much the norm that we rarely stop to think that having one’s own name is a fundamental aspect of being human. Some alters have been in such isolation that they have not even had a name, much less had been regularly addressed by name. Being continually treated like this would be highly dehumanizing for anyone. If part of you suffered this, it will almost inevitably eat away at your own sense of self-worth. So this is one of many significant reasons for naming alters.

Sometimes alters choose for themselves demeaning names, such as Shame or Reject. Unless they refuse a name change, I never use such names because doing so reinforces a lie they have believed about themselves. In fact, if they let you, consider using an opposite name such as Honor or Beloved.

It can be hard to think of names, especially if one has very many alters, so here are some suggestions to get you started: Beautiful, Princess, Winner, Victorious, Cherished, Sweetheart, Braveheart, Kindheart, Purity. You could also use the names of jewels and gems and the names of beautiful flowers. In addition, you could look up the meaning of names. For example, Ann means Grace. Jane means God's gracious gift, Amanda means lovable.

In Communicating with Alters I wrote:

    Name Your Alters as Soon as You Can

    Nowadays, whenever a new species of plant or animal is found, it is usually not something that has never been seen before, but it looks so much like another species that it had never previously been distinguished from that species. Likewise, you need to know each of your alters well, or you could miss the fact that you are talking to an alter you have never previously met.

    As much as they will allow, learn the name of each alter, or name them yourself. Regularly asking which alter is talking will give the alter the opportunity to indicate that he/she is not an alter you have previously met. “Take a roll call,” suggests a friend who has so far discovered several alters, “and ask if anyone else is there.”

    More than this, however, when you have found more than one alter, continually checking the identity of the alter you are speaking with (if there is the slightest doubt) will help you keep building as clear and detailed a picture as possible of each alter’s character. This detailed understanding of each alter will help you avoid confusing an alter that is new to you with one you already know. What makes this important is that sometimes, out of shyness, newly surfaced alters pretend to be another alter. So be on the alert for alters who seem to be acting out of character. They might, for example, seem timider or younger or to be wrestling with problems that the alter they are pretending to be has already overcome.

    You are likely to be surprised at how you come to expect different levels of maturity, knowledge and so on from different alters. If you mistake one alter for another you could hurt that alter’s feelings by expecting too much from him or her. You might, for example, chide an alter for acting as if he/she did not know something that you are aware is known by the alter he/she is pretending to be.

    Ideally, keep a record of every alter and jot down details about each of them. Even if you are sure you will remember all of this, something unforeseen could happen that causes you to go into hiding and another alter who lacks this information would, at least temporarily, be forced to replace you.

Some alters choose normal but diverse names. Three alters of the one person might be named Jack, Bill and Brian. It might slightly aid their sense of unity, however, if they could be referred to by the age that they formed. For example, if the host’s name is Jack, they might be called three-year-old Jack, six-year-old Jack and twelve-year-old Jack. On the other hand, even referring to them by age could have a slightly negative effect by helping them feel locked into that age.

One woman told me the Lord had instructed her to start using a hyphenated name for each alter, with her birth name appearing first. For example, if her birth name had been Jessica and she had alters called Little-One, Precious and Mother, their names became Jessica-Little-One, Jessica-Precious and Jessica-Mother. I see God’s wisdom in this as it reinforces to each alter that she is part of one person.

A name can have such a powerful impact upon a person that the Bible records people’s names sometimes being chosen or changed by God. Consider, for example, how the Lord renamed Abram. The new name, Abraham, (meaning Father of Many Nations) built up his faith and reinforced a new self-image that lined up with God’s view of him.

One of Jake’s alters used to call himself “Reject.” Despite him not being happy with his new name, we renamed him Beloved. The following e-mail from him is not only touching and highlights several things about alters and the powerful way God ministers to them but it also hints at the power of names. He wrote:

    I’m not hitting any of the other alters anymore.

    For the last few days, I went to porn, thinking that it would help me, but Terry [one of Jake’s younger alters he used to hit] keeps singing praise to God and I can hear him inside. When I go to masturbate he starts crying and praying and I can’t continue. I want to be like Terry.

    I told Jesus to be Lord of my sexuality today and asked him to be my Lord also. Jesus told me, “Well done!”

    Terry says that when I do bad things it hurts him, too. He just keeps praying for me and doesn’t stop. He is afraid of me. I don’t want him to be afraid of me. I don’t hate him anymore. He just loves too much. I am afraid to be loved.

    Thank you for telling me that I am wanted. No one ever wanted me. Thank you for wanting me to live.

    Jesus wants me. I am just scared at times of him. He has not hurt me, though. He took me to heaven with him for a little bit. He does love me. I am still confused sometimes, though.

    I am ‘Beloved of God’. I don’t want to be ‘Reject’ ever again.

I’ve seen alters profoundly helped by being given a significant, positive name. So choice of names is worthy of prayer.

 

 

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Marriage

If contemplating marriage, see Complications in Relating to People (second section below)

If you are having difficulties with the sexual side of marriage, see Marital Relations (below)

For general help with your marriage, see Marital Help

 

 

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Sex – Marital Relations

If some alters are distressed by marital relations and some are not, it is good for those who are not comfortable with it to go to the Safe Haven (see A Safe Haven for Alters to Retreat to) during such times. Those who are happy to be out at such times, however, should explain to the others that there is no danger to those who choose to be out.

Marital relations need not be a traumatic experience for alters who have suffered sexual abuse. In fact, I have been reliably informed that it can sometimes be such a positive experience that alters have been known to first reveal themselves during physical lovemaking, not because they were the slightest traumatized but because they felt so loved and valued.

This is quite a complex matter, as explained in “I Hate Sex!” When Wives Want a Sexless Marriage and the links.

See also The Sex Abuse Survivor’s Ultimate Revenge: Reclaiming your Sexuality.

 

 

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Complications in Relating to People

People with D.I.D. have a stupendous yearning to feel loved, secure and “normal.” This puts them under enormous pressure to enter into romantic relationships, or even marriage, long before they are able to make such a decision calmly and wisely. Consequently, appalling numbers end up in abusive relationships or relationships that are tragically more torturous for both them and their partners than if they had restrained themselves and waited until they were healed.

It is better to remain single than choose a partner who does not thoroughly understand D.I.D. However, although it is natural to be attracted to someone who understands D.I.D. very well because he/she has D.I.D., the union would create such a highly complex marriage that it would be highly challenging for the most psychologically robust person, much less to anyone still recovering from D.I.D.

For further help, see the above two sections about marriage and:

 

 

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Little Alters (Older than Babies)

Here’s a pertinent quote from Healing and Wholeness for Alters

    The Horror of Being a Child Alter

    It is hard to conceive of a more tortured existence than that of an alter living in an adult body and yet trapped in the years of childhood. When treated kindly and wisely, alters can find total relief, but unless they receive the attention and comfort they deserve, their pain will never end this side of the grave. Moreover, unless people with alters learn how to avoid making things worse, they will almost inevitably create still more sources of suffering for their already severely traumatized alters.

    No matter how much people might despise the fact that they have alters, they must face the obvious reality that no one can have peace while a part of him/her is reeling in pain. To live in denial, and ignore the needs of one’s alters will only perpetuate, and quite possibly intensify, one’s anguish. We’ll look at how to give alters the help and comfort they need.

    For insight into how much child alters typically suffer, try vividly imagining being in the following endless nightmare.

    You are three years old and have not only suffered deeply damaging trauma; you are endlessly reliving it. As if this were not enough torment, you are trapped in an adult body, which results in the perpetual horror of you being as real as anyone else and yet treated as nothing. You are despised by all of the few people in the world who are vaguely aware of you, and you are sure their reaction proves you are a hideous freak.

    You cannot let a single person see you play or giggle or cry. Anyone – you know of no exceptions – catching a glimpse of you acting your age will ignorantly but sincerely conclude that you are literally insane, or at the very least, abnormal. Even children think it weird to see an adult acting like a child, and children are usually quick to speak their mind. So you dare not talk to anyone or even let them chance upon seeing you act in any way that for you is natural.

    You feel forced to all sorts of extremes to hide from everyone, and yet you have the desperate human need to end psychologically damaging isolation. Moreover, how can you avoid making your embarrassing presence felt? You might not even be potty trained. Imagine, if you dare, the implications of someone in an adult body having that problem.

    You might not have grasped that when people see you, they see the body of an adult. (The common blindness of alters to the true nature of the body they live in is only slightly more extreme than that of a dangerously thin anorexic seeing herself as fat.) If you believe you have a child’s body when you don’t, you won’t understand people’s disgust at you acting as a child and so you will take their reaction even more personally. And if you live in the body of a menstruating woman, you will be disturbed that someone very close to you bleeds. No one has ever explained to you that this is not a life-threatening illness. If you have grasped that it is your body that is bleeding, you could be even more distressed. And having the body of a sexually mature woman might subject you to more sexual advances that terrify you.

    It might be that the one person hardest to be utterly invisible to – the host person in whose adult body you live, the one who best understands you and should be your greatest ally – finds you such an embarrassment that he or she hates you and, it seems, would literally kill you, given half the chance.

    You have not only a normal child’s craving for hugs and touch but your trauma accentuates this need. Nevertheless, you either find yourself in the body of a person who doesn’t get nearly the degree of touch that you as a distressed child need, or you are sentenced to live in the body of a married person who receives touch that is traumatically inappropriate for a child. More alarming still, sexual abuse is quite likely the very trauma that made you an alter in the first place.

    You could find yourself repeatedly exposed to movies, conversations and behavior that might be acceptable for adults but are deeply upsetting or even terrifying for a three-year-old.

    To magnify every source of agony: you find yourself, through no fault of your own, in the devastating predicament of being unable to grow up. This means that unless someone at last recognizes your needs and helps you mature mentally, you must suffer all this loneliness, rejection and devastatingly low self-esteem, not merely for the length of a normal childhood but for twenty, thirty, forty or more years.

    It can be deeply disturbing when you finally learn that you are actually part of a much older person. Suddenly you no longer feel you know who you are. How should you act now that you know you are not really a child but you still feel like one and you still like doing what others regard as childish things? Realizing that you are decades older than you thought could mean the shattering of many cherished dreams. So much you had hoped for as a child has either already passed or you now know can never happen.

    It’s not just young alters that can suffer greatly from the way their hosts and/or other people treat them. Consider, for example, an average man who has an alter who believes he is female. Imagine how that alter would be treated, both by the man and by everyone else.

One needs to be alert to the fact that little alters can be naïve and vulnerable and particularly prone to forming an unhealthy attachment and/or dependency upon people. There are dangers, for example, if alters regard anyone as their mother, other than another alter or their real mother. See Dependency – Too Attached to Someone.

Everyone with D.I.D. has suffered horrific abuse as a child – usually, far more than they realize – and parts of you continue to greatly suffer because of it. I beg you not to continue the abuse by denying little alters the things they need to feel loved, valued and comforted. Parts of you might be filled with such self-loathing that they do not believe they should enjoy life or have fun and some even feel guilty about trying. Please try hard not to let these views keep other parts of you from healing.

Little alters can end up having amazing abilities that will help you immeasurably in your employment, spiritual life and other vital aspects of living. But for this to happen they need to be able to heal and develop in their own time and way. See Dolls, Toys & Play.

See also Heartwarming & Healing Stories for Young Alters.

For baby alters, see Baby Alters.

 

 

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Dolls, Toys & Play

Before focusing on how children normally use dolls and stuffed toys and why it is helpful for young alters to do likewise, I draw your attention to a quite different way that some people with Dissociative Identity Disorder use them. Sometimes a host (the mature alter who most often relates to the outside world) might use dolls or stuffed toys to represent alters. A host might, for example, gather dolls and stuffed toys around him/her and read them a story or hug them. One host would even put a doll to her breast and pretend to breastfeed an alter. It ended up being not just comforting but profoundly healing to the alter the doll represented.

Using dolls/stuffed toys this way might at first seem bizarre, and some people will never do it. Nevertheless, it is as useful as military strategists in a war room using models on a map to represent troop movements. Just as talking out loud, or writing, can sometimes help by making an internal conversation seem more real, so this can help externalize an internal interaction with an alter, making it seem more tangible and so deepen the impact.

Another unusual application is using dolls to represent sexual encounters. Like porn or self-harm, this is usually unhealthy. One danger, for example, is that an alter might end up imagining doing it to someone else and so edge towards becoming an abuser. It might, however, be used sparingly to explain to a therapist some aspect of past abuse.

Let’s now move to alters playing like normal children.

Older parts of you are likely to despise the things that comfort little children and help them develop. Nevertheless, you have been robbed of a normal childhood and no matter how hard you try to ignore it, parts of you have needs that have never been met. You will end up more at peace and more whole if you:

    [*] allow these needs to be fully met

    [*] let the hurting parts of you be comforted, feel loved and secure

    [*] let your little alters grow up (as contrasted with being forced to act as if they are grown up when they are not).

Moreover, little alters playing together is an important way of developing teamwork, which is essential for you to reach your full potential.

An alter was formed when just a baby and, for the next almost forty years, assumed a highly responsible role. She had little conception of the importance of play until other alters began to heal and it was suggested she temporarily hand over her responsibilities to them so that she could revert to being a child for a while. She writes:

    By going back to being a child I learned to relax and play like a child. It taught me the purpose behind all the tomfoolery that kids accomplish. There is always the learning aspect to play but, more important than specific skills, being a child is about learning to relax and take it easy. Adults forget this necessity sometimes because of all the cares and burdens they are responsible for.

    The sad part was that I had all of those adult cares and burdens heaped on my shoulder from the very beginning of life, so I didn’t even know I needed to learn to relax and have fun. Going back to being a child exposed all of that to me.

    My whole life had been about trying to be strong. I had to be strong to deal with my family’s everyday life. I had to put aside all of my feelings and my own secret hurt and continually focus on all the different kinds of abuse we suffered. I had to be strong by making sure each alter was out when he or she was needed and that no alters were out when they shouldn’t be. Having any kind of feeling or expressing a want or a need was a sign of weakness and in my home being weak was dangerous, even life-threatening.

    Even when we had escaped from our abusers I continued to act as though we were still there. It was the only way I knew to make sense of life. So I continued denying my feelings, needs and wants. I continued to reject any memories I had. I continued trying to be strong and making sure that all of the alters were in their appropriate places.

    My time of reverting to being a child gave me the chance to grow up in as normal a way as possible and has inspired me to work on finding ways to take a break and relax and deal with feelings, rather than keep trying to shove them aside.

For more about the surprising importance of “childish” things, see Why Forcing Change upon an Alter Makes Things Worse for Yourself.

For why you being the primary carer for your little ones, see Dependency – Too Attached to Someone.

For ideas in helping alters play, see Turning Disorder into Order in Dissociative Identity Disorder.

For more about play and dolls etc, see Play, Dolls & Stuffed Toys in Healing Dissociative Identity Disorder.

For encouragement about how beneficial to you little alters will become, and how you should treat them, see “Useless” Alters.

 

 

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Art, Painting, Drawing. Etc

Here’s a relevant quote from How to Find Every Alter & Help Each One to Communicate

    Although you might not feel artistic or even like art, most children like expressing themselves through art and so it could be a way of enticing quite young parts of you to express themselves (and so begin to communicate), especially as deep feelings can be impossible to put into words.

    Don’t forget that art can include collage, montage, using such mediums as Playdough (Play-Doh). Be cautious about using paint, however. Some alters find the fluidity of paint frustrating or even triggering. As well as portraits, and self-portraits, try visually expressing feelings and anything else that you feel the urge to portray. I encourage you to sometimes try art as therapy and a means to contact your alters. This will probably involve a different approach to art than you usually do. In this case, say out loud at the beginning and several times during the session, something along the lines of, “This is your turn to paint [or draw or whatever], and to have fun or express deep feelings and I promise to try hard not to criticize or interfere.” Then keep letting the artistic expression flow. Don’t worry if you think it looks hideous, childish, weird, dark or whatever. Don’t judge it negatively, or try to correct or improve it. Just let it come from within, saying out loud encouraging things about the art like, “Good!”

    Even if it seems you are just talking to yourself, towards the end of an art session or at the end (but before that part of you leaves), speak to the part out loud, saying such things as, “What feelings are you expressing through this art? Is there an event in your past that moved you to express yourself this way? What does this artwork mean?” And so on. Even if it is vague, take great note of what response comes to you (it might be good to write it down or audio record it for future reference) and dialog with the part of you that is revealing these things, coaxing that part to tell you more. Don’t comment negatively or say such things as, “That can’t be true.” Instead, listen carefully and express empathy and offer comfort and encouragement.

    It has been suggested that talking when being artistic should be minimized as it can interfere with the creative process. Nevertheless, it is quite possible that by striving for perfection or getting impatient with yourself in earlier attempts at art, you unknowingly pushed aside an alter, hurting his or her feelings and making the alter reluctant to try again. This makes it necessary to reassure alters that nothing like that will happen this time. How much approval and convincing is needed will vary from alter to alter.

Also consider poetry. Even if you don’t personally like it, other parts of you might like expressing themselves that way.

 

 

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False Memories

Genuine memories of unpleasant events often feel unreal. Such feelings do not imply that the events did not happen. For example, even when perfectly normal people are coming to terms with the death of a loved one, they often have times when it feels unbelievable that the person is dead. Moreover, a common form of dissociation is for one part of a person to be aware of and recall a traumatic event but for a different part of the person to experience the associated feelings (horror, fear, pain, and so on), or for someone in a traumatic situation to go into a trancelike state in which he/she feels he/she is not present. Another common occurrence is for a person to switch alters (perhaps even several times) partway through a traumatic event so that no single alter knows the full sequence of events. In any of these cases, an alter’s memories of an event will inevitably have a strong feeling of unreality about it.

Another complication is that, for their own desperate need to feel secure and perhaps other reasons, children have a deep need to love and respect their parents and other significant adults in their lives. Moreover, people’s moods often change more markedly than little children can come to terms with. An obvious example is an alcoholic who is angry and violent only when drunk. Another is someone who is very different when out of the public eye. To little children, it can seem as if it is no longer the same person and even older ones can recoil from believing it is the same person and prefer to live in denial. This alone can be quite a factor in causing the formation of alters, with the result that parts of a person are left totally unaware of the person’s bad side. Moreover, the part of the person left ignorant is usually the host – the part who is out most often – so that that part is emotionally freed up to face the demands of everyday living.

Unfortunately, it is easy to jump to a wrong conclusion when you have only five random pieces of a huge jigsaw puzzle, but early in the healing journey, the information you so far have is just like that. Anyone trying to piece together just fragments of surfaced memories could make a sincere mistake. For example, I know an abuse survivor who for a little while mistakenly concluded that her father must have been involved because in one memory she could see two men present when she was being abused. She knew that one of the abusers was her neighbor but she could not see the face of the other and she could not recall her father allowing her to go anywhere without his supervision. After prayer, her memory became clearer and it turned out that she was remembering a time when, while being abused, she had deliberately pictured in her mind a demon standing next to her abuser. It was a way of telling herself, while it was happening, how evil and horrifying this event was. This might seem weird but she was very young and highly traumatized and the abuser had claimed to have demons.


When remembering things that happened as a little child, you are not only usually seeing only tiny snippets of a long event, you are seeing them not rationally but through the terrified eyes of a traumatized child. The potential for misinterpretation abounds.

I know a woman who had the memory surface of being in a darkened haunted house surrounded by mutilated human corpses and other grizzly scenes. In her memory, a man in a black cape suddenly grabbed her and proceeded to sexually molest her. We explored this memory together and it turned out that the memory was not as bizarre as one might suppose. It was a memory of when she was three. At that age, she was unable to understand that the “haunted house” at a carnival was make-believe. What to older children was just scary fun, was terrifyingly real to such a little girl. No one twice her age should have been there. Had her father been able to remain with her, it would not have been so traumatic for her but he was too big to squeeze through some of the passageways and they got separated. Her memory of the molestation was accurate, along with everything else that she saw, but her interpretation of some details – that were real corpses, for example – needed to be reevaluated from an adult perspective.


Another complication is that dreams can sometimes be like flashbacks and be very accurate memories, but at other times they are symbolic.

I know a woman who repeatedly has nightmares in which blood is everywhere and she is being sacrificed on an altar by Christians. In reality, she has never in her life been on an altar, nor have Christians physically attacked her – except her parents, who claimed to be Christians, had often mercilessly beaten her on the buttocks (without drawing blood). These nightmares were not of literal events but were her mind expressing how it felt to be on the receiving end of the way certain church-goers had treated her and how horrifying, heartless and malicious their actions had been. The dream might seem a gross exaggeration but it was emotionally accurate. What they had done to her over and over in real life by verbally attacking her, falsely accusing her and persistently trying to take her baby from her, had literally filled her with terror and had brought her within a hair’s breadth of suicide. The altar in her dream was symbolically appropriate because altars have religious overtones and it was in the name of religion that these people had so deeply traumatized her. For years, the dream had kept repeating because in her mind the matter remained unresolved. She continued to fear in the present a repeat from other Christians of what she had suffered in the past.

This woman is also plagued by other nightmares in which she sees corpses and she is accused of having killed them. In her dream, she cannot actually recall having killed anyone but she fears that she might have. She also gets the impression that one of the dead bodies is that of her only child. This often repeated nightmare is not because she has ever physically hurt anyone but is a manifestation of the severe anxiety she suffers.

To help you understand, I need for a moment to explain anxiety. Anxiety feels like a guilty conscience, and excess anxiety can have peculiar effects on those who suffer it. A common example is sensitive new mothers who are plagued with thoughts of killing their babies. We have all heard of post-natal depression. Clinical anxiety (anxiety induced by a medical condition) and clinical depression are closely linked (often the same medication is prescribed for both) and the anxiety new mothers sometimes suffer has a very similar medical basis to post-natal depression. What any nervous mother most fears is hurting her baby. This, when magnified by excess anxiety, can cause some mothers to be so plagued by fears of harming their baby that they find themselves unwillingly imagining harming them (by stabbing them, for example). That is the last thing they would ever want and they are so horrified to suffer such a thought that they become preoccupied with it and so keep having the thought over and over. This is just one example of what clinical anxiety can do.

This woman’s nightmares about possibly having killed people have similarities to what some anxiety-plagued new mothers suffer, and the nightmares are also powered by her low self-esteem and the false accusations she has been subjected to.

I have cited these two nightmares because had there been gaps in this woman’s memories – thankfully there were not – she could easily have wrongly presumed that instead of being symbolic, the vivid dreams were memories of actual literal events coming to her while she slept. She might have even, while awake, have concluded she was remembering her past when she was only remembering her dream.


Your primary focus, however, should be gaining emotional and psychological relief, not trying to accurately reconstruct all the facts about your past.

See Regaining Memories (below).

 

 

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Regaining Memories

Since dissociation is all about becoming highly detached from a tragic event, you can expect it to seem unreal. Moreover, if dissociation goes to the extreme of creating another personality, it truly is as if it happened not to you but to another person. In the process of healing from D.I.D., however, alters draw closer and closer. This is not merely like two separate people talking so often about their experiences that they know each other intimately, your alters are literally part of you. You share the same brain.

As alters cease to feel the need to keep secrets from each other, they gradually discover how to access each other’s memories. The very part of the brain where those memories are stored is no longer off limits to other alters.

Do not try to force this process but focus instead on removing any supposed need for access to these memories to be barred. The supposed need is largely driven by the worry that some parts will not be able to cope with the truth. There are two sides to this: not only can the alter who controls access to the memory keep the barrier up because of their concern about how others will cope with it, other alters can themselves fear that they could not cope and so avoid any attempt to access the memory. Once these concerns diminish (and they will as alters grow stronger) accessing each other’s memories begins to occur naturally. Learning how to do so is made easier by practicing accessing each other’s positive memories and abilities.

Things such as flashbacks are your mind screaming that it has had enough and can no longer keep living in denial and suppressing past experiences. Those past experiences need to recalled and faced and resolved. Sudden, unsought flashes of memory (sometimes they can be felt [body memories] rather than visually seen [flashback]) are unpleasant but are a huge step forward in the healing process. They are the mind rebelling against remaining fragmented because the emotional cost of fragmentation and the amount of mental effort required to maintain it is much higher than you probably realize. What you need to fear is not the past returning to your memory, but continually living in ignorance of your past. To keep yourself in ignorance is like trying to live in denial of a cancer that is curable if only you know you have it and seek help.

Objective verification of facts of childhood abuse (such as the testimony of other witnesses) is usually exceedingly hard, or even impossible, but do whatever you can in that regard. Sometimes there might be medical evidence such as a current x-ray revealing bones fractures that must have occurred as a child.

Keep journaling, getting to know your alters and looking to God but don’t be quick to accuse people of hurting you. On the other hand, however, treat any suspect with caution. For example, don’t get into a situation where you could end up alone with them or they could have access to your children.

See also Believing Yourself to be a Liar (below) and Fearing You have Committed a Crime (the next section after that).

 

 

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Believing Yourself to be a Liar

It is not uncommon for people with D.I.D. to mistakenly think of themselves as liars. There are several reasons for this:

    1. Abusers crush their victims’ self-esteem, thus filling them with self-doubt.

    2. We all have a strong tendency to let what others say about us shape our self-image until we actually believe that is who we are. What makes this so significant to this discussion is that most people with D.I.D. have frequently been falsely accused of deliberately lying. Here are some reasons for these deeply wounding accusations:

      [*] Often an alter will do something in public when another alter is not present and so has no knowledge of it ever occurring. The alter who is totally unaware of the event is likely to sincerely deny all knowledge of it, thus making him/her seem like a liar in the eyes of other people who witnessed the event.

      [*] Motivated by the need to conceal the crimes they commit, abusers usually do their utmost to convince people into thinking they are very upright, respectable people. They often assume powerful leadership roles and are usually so good at deceit that decent people (for whom abuse itself is almost unthinkable) find it inconceivable that these apparently respectable deceivers could be guilty of such crimes. The tragic consequence is that if you tell these deceived people the truth, they are therefore more likely to believe the respected adult than the victim.

      [*] In order to protect themselves from being exposed as abusers, some abusers are cunning enough to deliberately set up their victims to be seen as liars if they tell anyone. Abusers do this by lying to their victims and deceiving them so that if their victims repeat what they have been tricked into believing, these things can easily be disproved, thus destroying the credibility of the victims when they say true things about the abuser.

    3. With D.I.D. you can expect to feel so detached from certain experiences that when an alter shares something you wish were not true that has been kept from your awareness all your life, there will be no ring of truth to it. Not only will it not feel true, it is likely to be contrary to everything you have believed about a person. For example, for their own security children have a desperate need to believe the best about their parents and even abusive parents typically have times when they are nice to their children. If you have always been around when your parents were nice and other alters protected you by taking over when your parents were not nice, the full truth about them will seem like a lie.

    4. D.I.D. is all about trying to cope by living in denial of highly distressing truths. Having employed this technique all your life, it becomes a deeply ingrained habit. To convince yourself that an upsetting truth is a lie enables you to keep employing this time-worn survival technique even after you have heard the truth.

See also:

 

 

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Fearing You have Committed a Crime

The following is taken from Sadistic Ritual Abuse Explained but it applies to many abusers:

    Knowing that some children react to trauma by forming separate identities (insiders) as a coping mechanism, some abusers deliberately induce trauma. A typical way is to put their victims into a no-win situation, such as telling them that if they do not kill a certain person, then someone else dear to them will be killed. That way, no matter what the victims do, they will be riddled with horror and guilt over feeling a false sense of responsibility for the person’s death.

    A key point to keep in focus is that the result is the same in the victim’s psyche regardless of whether the event actually happened or was merely a clever hoax. For example, if guns are filled with blanks and the person supposedly shot keels over in a pool of fake blood and is never seen again, the trauma will be as effective in producing an insider as if the person had actually been murdered. Furthermore, it is easier for the abuser if the event is actually an elaborate trick. It means, for example, there are no bodies to dispose of and if the abuse victim were ever to report the “murder” to the police they would discover that no one had been killed and the victim would be discredited, should he or she make other allegations.

    We all know how convincing showmen (illusionists) can be when pretending to be magicians. On top of this, victims are usually young and already so highly traumatized that even the most intelligent victim is rendered vulnerable to tricksters. Some abusers force drugs upon their victims, making it even harder to discern reality.

    Never forget that since abusers are given over to evil, they cannot be expected to be truthful. Just as the devil himself is a liar (John 8:44), deceit is second nature to these people. Moreover, it is very much in their interest to deceive, because the more they can deceive a victim, the less believable that person’s stories will sound if ever reported to authorities.

    Abusers cannot be trusted to tell their victims the truth about anything. If, for example, abusers engage in satanic rituals, they might happen to believe in those practices but even their apparent belief could be a lie. They know that dark cloaked figures, “human sacrifice”, and eerie rituals would help traumatize a child and this could be enough to motivate them to use such things as props.

See also, Dissociative Identity Disorder & Diminished Responsibility

 

 

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Unable to Recall Trauma

Parts of you are used to keeping you in the dark about various traumas you have suffered. They did this because they thought you were not strong enough to cope with the memories while functioning normally. What they have not taken sufficiently into account, however, is that you are now much more mature and have more support and now live a more stable life than when the trauma occurred and that the emotional cost of keeping you unaware is far higher than they realize because they need your maturity etc. to help them heal from past events. For more on the importance of facing the past, see:

Another issue is alters believing an abuser’s threats that if they tell anyone about what happened to you, something terrible will happen. An abuser might say that if an alter says anything about the abuse, police will put you in jail, you’ll be stoned as an adulteress, you’ll be taken from your family, a demon will torture you, a loved one will be hurt, etc. Often the threat could be seen by an adult as being ridiculous or it is no longer valid because of the passage of time, but an alter trying to protect you is likely to be unaware of this unless you explain it to him/her. An alter might therefore keep information from you out of fear that you would blab what you learn to other people. This makes it very important that you respect the confidentiality of alters and that they know you are trustworthy in this regard. Certainly, help alters understand that it is safe to tell others, but don’t reveal anything without their permission to do so.

 

 

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Forgetting Things

If you want to forget things, skip to Bad Memories, Flashbacks & Nightmares.

People with D.I.D. can be so forgetful that some have even feared they might have Alzheimer’s. Frequently, it causes immense stress and can get them accused of lying, simply because they honestly cannot recall events that observers know you did.

With D.I.D., the reason for forgetfulness is usually simple: D.I.D. is all about part of a person (an alter) protecting the rest of the person from having to cope with certain upsetting memories. They do this by keeping from the rest of the person all awareness of those memories, thus freeing the rest of the person to focus on other things necessary to succeed in life. The downside, however, is that it usually applies not just to traumatic memories but to neutral memories the alter has. So if the alter gains useful information needed for the person’s employment or everyday functioning, access to that information (memories) is temporarily lost whenever another alter takes control.

You could suddenly find yourself without critically-needed information simply because the alter that has that information is asleep or was upset and went into hiding. How long you are left without this information could vary from a few moments to years. For help with this, see When Abilities or Alters Vanish.

Since the temporary disappearance of an alter could occur unexpectedly, it is good to safeguard oneself by keeping written lists of things that need doing each day, written records of how to perform in one’s place of employment, and so on. Do this even if you feel sure you could never forget.

It is good to reach the stage where you have alter meetings in which all alters gather and fill each other in on what they have done, how they feel and so on. Some meetings can be longer, where things are discussed in length but even brief ones where everyone is brought quickly up-to-date can be of great value. Then it is not so disastrous if the alter who did something important is not around at a critical time. Such meetings can increase your efficiency and reduce embarrassing slipups.

It is also good to train up other alters in important tasks so that they can take over should a key alter suddenly not be available.

For many reasons, the more one heals, the less of an issue this is. For example, alters get stronger and so are increasingly less likely to be frightened into withdrawing deep inside, and other alters learn not to suddenly take over and displace the alter in charge. Also, as alters begin sharing secrets with each other, they lose the need to prevent others from accessing their memories. Eventually, their memories can be accessed even when they are not around.

Here’s a condensed and adapted extract from one of my webpages:

    Sometimes a friend of mine with D.I.D. would wake in the morning to find things rearranged and – most frustrating of all – she would have to hunt everywhere for her keys that were not where she had left them.

    One day, as I was chatting with her child alter, the alter mentioned in passing, as if it were something unusual, that last night she had slept all night. That immediately aroused my interest. “What do you usually do?” I asked.

    It turned out that the alter only felt safe to play without ridicule when everyone else was asleep. She particularly liked playing with keys and her host had moved her other toys away from the bed, so she had to get up to access them.

    “I try not to wake Mommy (her host),” she said. “Please don’t tell her.”

    I gently persuaded her that her host would not be angry and obtained her permission to let the host know. It turned out that the host had overheard part of the conversation anyhow.

    The host and alter were able to work out some amicable and effective solutions. An obvious start was to keep the toys by the edge of the bed, so that the alter could play with them in bed. Better still, the host explained to the alter how they would both feel more refreshed if they slept at the same time, and the host began slotting into her waking hours a time when her alter could play in privacy. She also purchased a pocket doll for her alter to play with when she was at work. Both alter and host benefited from this new level of mutual understanding and cooperation – and she could find her keys each morning.

For more, see Switching (below).

See also Losing Abilities or Alters

 

 

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Switching

Switching occurs when one part (an alter) of a person withdraws and another part takes full control of the person’s consciousness. It can occur either because the alter who had been in control voluntarily withdraws, or because another alter forcibly takes over. Voluntary withdrawal might simply be because the alter is tired, but it might be because something frightened the alter, such as something occurring that bears even a superficial similarity to some past trauma. When the alter goes deep inside, some other alter is forced to fill in the vacuum, even though the replacement alter might not have a clue about how to cope with the new responsibilities.

An alter might forcibly take over just because he/she enjoys being in the external world (see Body Time below) or it might be because the alter senses danger and feels he/she must take over to protect the rest of the person. The perceived danger might not necessarily be real. It could be something as harmless as meeting a man who wears the same aftershave as a former abuser. Nevertheless, it will feel terrifying to the alter.

To quote from Forgetting Things:

    Since the temporary disappearance of an alter could occur unexpectedly, it is good to safeguard oneself by keeping written lists of things that need doing each day, written records of how to perform in one’s place of employment, and so on. Do this even if you feel sure you could never forget.

    For many reasons, the more one heals, the less of an issue this is. For example, alters get stronger and so are increasingly less likely to be frightened into withdrawing deep inside, and other alters learn not to suddenly take over and displace the alter in charge. Also, as alters begin sharing secrets with each other, they lose the need to prevent others from accessing their memories. Eventually, their memories can be accessed even when they are not around.

For more, see:

 

 

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Body Time

The time when an alter has full control of the body and so can freely interact with the outside world is known as body-time. Some alters were once so terrified that they remained deep inside for many years but as they heal they gain confidence and become curious about the outside world. And some begin to really enjoy things most of us take for granted but to them are so new and exciting. Alters gaining the confidence to come out is a good sign and when they are fully healed they, and all the other alters, will always relate to the outside world. In the early stages, however, their inexperience in relating to the outside world can pose embarrassing and even dangerous problems. So until they gain all the needed knowledge and experience, their times in control need to be carefully monitored. They must learn not to take over without express permission from the alter with the needed experience and the experienced alter needs to remain in the background and supervise. This is known as co-consciousness.

 

 

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Co-Consciousness

Co-consciousness occurs when two or more alters are simultaneously aware of what is happening in the external world. Usually one is the driver’s seat, as it were, and the other is able only to observe. Some describe it as like looking at the world from behind a plate glass window. For hosts or alters with little previous experience of this, it can initially be alarming to find oneself unable to control one’s own body, but with a little practice it can become as natural as learning to ride a bike.

You might almost always have one level of awareness, but there are other possibilities that you might sometimes experience. Other alters can also move from one level to another. Since such changes can be bewildering, let me list the possibilities.

    1. You are fully in control of the body and are uninfluenced by any other alter. If you almost always have this level of consciousness (and especially if other alters rarely, if ever, take over the body when you sleep), you will find it difficult to believe you have D.I.D. Even if you are aware of other alters or of having symptoms associated with D.I.D., you might have an alter who has no such awareness and is often in charge of the body. If that alter were the only one to interact with a therapist, it is unlikely that even a skilled therapist will detect D.I.D. This can make diagnosis problematical.

    2. You are fully in control of the body but are being fed information and/or skills and/or feelings by one or more other alters. You might realize that other alters are contributing, or you might presume that it is all your own doing. If you are in the latter situation, you might be puzzled as to why your feelings sometimes do not match your circumstances. You might also have become so accustomed to being fed a particular ability that you are shocked when you suddenly lose that ability when that alter sleeps or goes deeper inside. All that you might know about it is that you no longer have that ability. A common reason for an alter suddenly withdrawing is that something frightens the alter (it might not be upsetting to you) because what happened bears superficial similarities to something unpleasant that the alter experienced years ago. Usually, the alter does not remain in hiding for very long, but it can be very disconcerting when it happens, and you can be left floundering without that alters knowledge and/or skills.

    3. You retain awareness of the outside world and of what is happening to your body, but you have no control over the body because another alter has exclusive control over it. In this case, you will be acutely conscious that something unusual is happening.

    4. You have lost any awareness of the outside world, and may or may not have any awareness of alters in the inside world.

 

 

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Confusion

I have never heard the word confused nearly used so often as when talking with people with Dissociative Identity Disorder.

A primary reason for confusion is alters becoming aware of current reality after having been buried deep inside for many years. It is like the fable of Rip Van Winkle who went to sleep for twenty years. What seemed like only yesterday was actually years ago and so much had changed without his awareness.

Moreover, in the case of alters who were young when they lost awareness of the outside world, not only do they find themselves in a different time and place, enormous changes have occurred to their own bodies. What a shock to suddenly discover that their body has suddenly not only grown up but become that of a middle-aged person! Some alters even go to sleep convinced they are one gender, only to look in a mirror and find that their outside body is that of the opposite sex.

Another common source of confusion occurs when an alter quite familiar with current circumstances is suddenly displaced by another alter but the original alter or host remains co-conscious and finds himself/herself unable to control his or her own body. (See Switching above.)

Not only does the displaced alter temporarily lose the ability to control the body, but the new alter might not even be able to do so. The alter taking over might be a baby who has not yet learned how to walk or control his/her bodily functions. Moreover, to a little alter, everything could seem big and mysterious.

If, however, the temporarily displaced alter does not remain aware of what is happening, that introduces another source of confusion. When the alter finally regains consciousness, another part of him/her will have moved things and perhaps spoken with other people without the original alter having any recollection of it. See Forgetting things above.

I am astonished by how quickly – usually just a matter of days – alters come to terms with these massive changes, but who wouldn’t initially be confused? Feeling confused is disturbing at first but, as unpleasant as it initially is, it is among the most wonderful things that could ever happen because it opens up all sorts of beautiful healing opportunities.

Another source of confusion is that alters can switch one or more times during a traumatic event so that no single alter recalls the entire event, and it is only when all participating alters reveal what they remember that the entire event can be pieced together. When only a portion of the event is known, it is easy to incorrectly presume how it began or ended.

Yet another perplexing source of confusion is feeling fearful or sad or some other emotion and finding no reason for that feeling. Such instances are likely to be because the feelings of another alter are washing over you. Ask the alter (even if you are not sure whether he or she can hear) why he feels that way. This can be a wonderful opportunity to get to know an alter better. The simple act of the alter sharing with you can help the alter feel less isolated and so bring the alter a degree of comfort. You are likely to also be able to give some reassurance or helpful advice to the alter.

When you feel confused and are not sure why, it could be an alter who is feeling this way. So act on this possibility by telling yourself (preferably out loud) in the hope that the alter might hear: “You have been asleep for a very long time and many things have changed but most of the changes have been good.” Tell the alter about the good things that have happened in your life. If, for example, you are safer now than when the alter was probably formed, say so.

Alters that have been buried inside for a long while have been kept needlessly tormented by being cut off from so many things that would give them peace and reassurance. For example, they are likely to have been living in constant fear, expecting to be abused again at any moment because they have no idea that the abuser no longer has access to them. They had thought themselves to be weak and vulnerable and that no one would believe them, because they had no idea that they now live in a much stronger, more mature body and are no longer dependent upon their abuser. Little children are easily deceived and frightened and manipulated and now they finally have you; a safe, loving and wise person to protect and guide them.

You, yourself, will feel more peace and security when an alter feels more loved and secure because of you.

There is yet another good thing associated with the fact that feeling confused means an alter is re-connecting with the real world: it gives you the opportunity to connect with a part of you who has valuable skills and intellectual abilities. It opens the way for you to become more capable than ever.

See also:

 

 

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Anxiety

Because of the trauma people with Dissociative Identity Disorder have suffered, anxiety is distressingly common for them. In their past, they were so often anxious for good reason that it became virtually a way of life – an ingrained habit – making it difficult to return to normal levels of calmness. Even when things are going well they tend to expect it not to last long and minor things trigger a return to anxiety.

Like a useful campfire that gets out of control and becomes a raging wildfire, it is good to have a rational concern about getting too close to a venomous spider but it can get out of control and escalate to an irrational fear of spiders that are a safe distance away and to fearing harmless spiders and even fearing being anywhere there is the slightest possibility of spiders. So it is with all fear and anxiety. It can become an out-of-control habit. It is no more the person’s fault than an innocent child being forcibly injected with drugs until he is thoroughly addicted. Old habits can be broken, however, and replaced by new ones. Nevertheless, like breaking an addiction, it takes sustained effort.

Excessive anxiety can also be linked to an imbalance in a person’s body chemistry and often this can be at least partly rectified by medication.

Another factor is that lack of sleep typically worsens anxiety, and anxiety often hinders one’s ability to sleep, so this interaction can become a vicious circle.

It is helpful to understand the effect of anxiety.

Anxiety acts as an alarm that goes off within us indicating that something is seriously wrong and causing our brain to keep seeking the reason so that it can be corrected.

When, for example, a fire alarm goes off, it sounds the same regardless of whether it was triggered by an actual fire or by a technical malfunction. Since a false alarm sounds exactly the same – highly unpleasant – as when it is triggered by genuine danger, it is very tempting to feel disturbed about the alarm continuing, even when you have checked and confirmed that there is no danger. So it is with your anxiety. Unfortunately, for as long as you suffer from this anxiety you will just have to keep reminding yourself that it is a false alarm and get used to it blaring and being unpleasant and refuse to treat it as if it were real.

When anxiety is a false alarm it is not only unpleasant, it can confuse us spiritually. Anxiety feels like a torturously guilty conscience that keeps nagging away no matter how utterly we are divinely forgiven, cleansed of all sin and made holy by faith in Jesus. God has promised to forgive all the sins of everyone who puts his/her faith in the forgiving power of Jesus’ sacrifice. Since anxiety is far too incessant to be ignored, however, it is hard not to slip into believing the persistent, overwhelmingly strong feeling, rather than keep stubbornly believing God’s promise. Add to this the fact that anxiety keeps telling us that something is seriously wrong when everything is actually fine, and the foundation to our entire relationship with God – believing that through Jesus our past failings no longer hinder our relationship with God – is under attack. The spiritual confusion can be serious if we cave in to believing our powerfully deceptive feelings rather than resolutely clinging to raw faith in both Christ’s eagerness to secure our full forgiveness and his ability to do so.

You will be filled with guilt and anxiety but the key is to learn to live with such feelings and neither fear the feelings nor believe them. This will be a tough battle because your feelings will be very intense and seem so real, but all of us are called to live by faith and not feelings. For much help with this battle, see Scrupulosity: Worried by Severe Guilt Feelings and keep following the main link at the end of each page for as many pages as it takes. Most likely, you will need to keep returning to those pages.

For those suffering from an Anxiety Disorder, living by raw faith is much harder to do than for other people, but it is like a coach making his star athlete engage in much heavier training than others – it will end up making him stronger than others, even though during tough training sessions he will seem much weaker than those who are lazing around. It is like a runner lugging heavy weights on the back – it feels as if it is weakening him but it will actually make him stronger as he keeps struggling on.

Anxiety can even cause us to keep thinking things that we desperately want not to think, such as harming a loved one or being hounded by horrifically blasphemous thoughts. For help with this, see When a Christian Can’t Stop Thinking Blasphemous Thoughts.

For more about the anxiety that traumatized people suffer, see the next two sections below.

 

 

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

It is possible not to recall the actual events but Dissociative Identity Disorder is a consequence of severe childhood trauma. Since Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is likewise a consequence of having suffered trauma, it is usual for people with D.I.D. to suffer from PTSD. In fact, especially because therapists tend to be more familiar with PTSD than with D.I.D. they often detect it in people before discovering that they also have D.I.D.

For help, see:

See also the next section (Fears, Phobias ) and the section above this one (Anxiety).

 

 

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Fears, Phobias

You could easily have alters who fear things that are no longer a concern because he/she is unaware of things that have happened since the trauma that formed him/her. For example, the abuser might no longer have access to you, your body might now be more mature and stronger, and your maturity means you are no longer dependent upon abusive family members, abusers are more afraid of you now that you are older, because your testimony is more likely to be believed.

Here is a small, condensed extract from Fear, (PTSD): Christian Help & Cure. You really should read it all.

    Fear is a horrible feeling; but it is just a feeling; not reality.

    When it is based not on present danger but is a mere carryover from a past experience, fear is deception. It is a seductive temptress enticing us to cheat on God and ditch his beautiful plans for our life. It is a disgusting con man cheating us out of our rights and duping us into letting him keep robbing us of peace, achievement and fulfillment.

    Fear is a prison taking away our freedom; a bleak dungeon that we dupe ourselves into pretending is a cozy comfort zone. We block off the open door with a Home, Sweet Home placard and shiver in the cold; choosing chilly isolation instead of sunny reality; preferring to feel sorry for ourselves than become achievers.

    Fear is an ever-encroaching desert; a cancer that keeps spreading to healthy parts of a person.

    Fear is an enemy, but one we can defeat; winning for ourselves immense glory. Others might not realize the magnitude of our victory in breaking out of our cruel confinement into normality, but all of heaven knows and it will forever hail us as heroes.

    The appropriate response is to rise up in anger and refuse to let fear rob, cheat and bluff us any longer.

    We might have been born in defeat and mediocrity but we have been born again as children of the King of kings. This makes us divine royalty; princes and princesses of the Lord of the universe, not slaves to feelings.

    Empowered by supernatural union with our crucified Lord, let’s die to the soft life and rise to the glory of our calling as Christ’s champions. The journey to Christlikeness is neither quick nor easy, but as Christ sweat for you in Gethsemane, so you can sweat for him – and win eternal glory.

You’ll find much help, comfort and encouragement in Fear, (PTSD): Christian Help & Cure

For more, see the above section, Anxiety.

 

 

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God’s Special Love for You

See:

 

 

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Fearing You’re Going Insane

It is common when people become aware of their different personalities, for such unusual things to occur that they begin to fear they are going insane. Here are the most common causes of this understandable but groundless fear:

    [*] You might have discovered you have done something without any memory of having done it. Selective memory is hardly surprising, given that a major reason for developing D.I.D. is to keep certain memories from the rest of you. It will be resolved when alters gain confidence in sharing memories and in cooperating with each other.

    [*] You might suddenly lose certain abilities. If, for example, a baby alter took over, you might not be able to walk, but only crawl. Or you might lose awareness of where you live and get lost driving home from work. You will regain these abilities.

    [*] You might, for no apparent reason, feel emotionless or feel strong emotions, such as fear or anger. This is because another alter’s emotions, for whom the feelings make perfect sense, are washing over you.

    [*] You might feel like a different person, with different likes and dislikes, and perhaps even feel you are the opposite sex.

Most things likely to initially disturb you are simply due to changes in the mix of alters who are close to the surface of your consciousness. Alters differ in their abilities, emotions, memories and personalities. Especially if something spooks them, some with will withdraw and others will come to the fore. As healing progresses, however, things will stabilize, with alters feeling safer and stronger.

[*] A part of you physically hurts you, perhaps when you are asleep. If you had distressing experiences as a child, it would not be unusual for part of you to still be reeling in unhealed pain. (In fact, a part holding on to this pain is probably what keeps you from being so aware of it.) Self-harm is a very common response to extreme inner pain.

[*] A part of you keeps sabotaging your good intentions. You might for example, want to break a habit but a part of you cut off from your understanding, sees no point in doing so.

When you begin to heal, peculiar things like the above might happen more than even before. This is not because you are getting worse but because you are growing in awareness of things that had previously been blocked from your consciousness, and because alters are becoming more hopeful that it is safe to reveal themselves to you and that they can heal.

People fearing they are going insane because of symptoms related to D.I.D. can relax. Dissociative Identity Disorder is not an illness, insists Psychiatrist Dr George Blair-West.

He declared on national television about someone with over two thousand alters, “There is nothing wrong with Jeni’s human mind or any other person who suffers from dissociative identity disorder. Their mind is just coming up with an incredibly sophisticated, clever solution to a scenario that most of us could not begin to understand or relate to. . . . The thing that seems to push the mind to do this, more than anything else, is realizing you have no way out – that nobody is going to come and get you, nobody’s there to save you: you’re on your own and you have to come up with a solution that is entirely of your own . . . and you are doing it in this incredibly sophisticated way, which is why this condition is not an illness.”

Dissociative Identity Disorder has given Jeni what he calls superpowers, one of which is her memory. “She has a memory unlike yours or my memory. Her alters are living in different time-space realities, effectively – particularly those younger ones. . . . It’s almost like being able to click on a folder in a computer, open it up and read it, without any decay over a 40-year period,” he said on Australian national television (60 Minutes Source).

Let’s look at it another way:

In a sense, we all have multiple personalities and switch between them according to our circumstances. We would act differently, for instance, in each of the following circumstances:

    [*] In the presence of a head of state
    [*] When alone with our spouse
    [*] On a night out with the girls/guys
    [*] When playing with children
    [*] When depressed

In other ways, too, everyone has “multiple personalities.” For example, we might say, “My heart says one thing, but my head says another.” The ability to see things from such different perspectives can be a significant asset. When indecisive, we speak of being “in two minds.” When dieting we are not sure which part of us will win – the part wanting to be thin or the part wanting to keep eating. In Romans 7, Paul devoted almost an entire chapter detailing the battle within himself between the part of him wanting to obey God and the part wanting to indulge himself. “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:15).

So having multiple personalities is not nearly as abnormal as it first seems. Moreover, dissociation is normal. In order to focus on the task at hand, all of us sometimes temporarily put unpleasant memories out of our minds, or tune out to such distractions as background noises. It is just that for some people this natural tendency is done to a greater extent. For them, shutting off awareness of certain distressing things is done so effectively that a separate consciousness forms within the person, with part of the person knowing, feeling and thinking some things that the other part does not.

Traumatized children – especially those who are artistically and/or intellectually gifted – have a remarkable ability. They are able to soldier on by splitting into a highly functional part that has little awareness of the extent of their suffering, and other parts that are much more aware of what happens out of the public eye. These people have, from an early age, stumbled upon an ingenious mental strategy for coping with situations that are almost beyond human endurance.

When people first become aware of their alters, it is often quite a shock and some rather weird things can happen, such as doing various things without any memory of having done them. At this stage of the healing journey, you might begin to wonder if you are going insane. Nevertheless, this is the time when one is actually becoming saner than ever, because one is finally getting in touch with his/her inner reality and no longer living in denial.

Remember that you have survived when things were at their worst and things will slowly improve from now on.

Some alters have self-images and beliefs that might seem bizarre to you but it is consistent with traumatized children who were cruelly tricked and lied to and then kept cut off from reality. It is also consistent with precious children whose reality was so appalling that they felt compelled to try giving themselves a break by creating a fantasy world.

When you were too young to cope with all that was thrown at you, you cleverly kept your mind compartmentalized so that parts of you could focus on various necessary tasks without being overwhelmed by consciousness of other mind-numbing events. Now that the crisis is over, the walls are beginning to come down so that you can become whole.

To quote from Healing your “Inner Child” / Inner Pain:

    Even though having alters is a common, well-documented reaction to childhood trauma, it is usual for people, upon first discovering that they have alters, to find it deeply disturbing and seek repeated assurance that they are not going insane. In reality, for any of us who have alters, the discovery is a very healthy sign and a significant step towards far more peace, joy and fulfillment than we have ever known.

    As explained in The Positive Benefits of D.I.D.: Does Multiple Personality Disorder Create a Superior Brain?, I believe that Dissociative Identity Disorder develops the brain beyond what it otherwise would have, such that when a person begins to heal from the disorder, having had multiple personalities actually turns out to be an intellectual advantage. Of course, until healing commences, having Dissociative Identity Disorder is primarily a disadvantage because and each alter (and the host) has access to only a portion of the person’s brain.

    Feelings of confusion as well as strange symptoms are normal for people recovering from D.I.D. From time to time, a friend of mine would ask the Lord what was wrong with him. Each time God would simply but very tenderly reply, “You have alters. I’m healing you.”

    It is most unfortunate that in old, ill-informed circles, schizophrenia was mislabeled “split personality.” This grossly inappropriate name might cause someone unfamiliar with psychology to wrongly imagine there could be a link between schizophrenia and what used to be called Multiple Personality Disorder. There is not even a superficial similarity. Unlike schizophrenia, Dissociative Identity Disorder does not cause bouts of insanity, nor is it helped by medication (although someone with D.I.D. might have additional conditions like depression that might be helped by medication). The differences go on and on.

Here’s some advice from a protector alter to other protector alters that everyone with D.I.D. could all heed:

    If someone breaks a leg, there is a critical period when a crutch aids healing but the time arrives when continued use of the crutch hinders the final stages of healing. You have been that crutch that has contributed greatly to healing your alters and now you have reached that thrilling point when your role needs to change. There are still many responsibilities, but your sacrifices for your alters have brought them to the point where they can now help. And you need to let them do this, both for their sake and for yours. Trust your alters. It will release them into their final stage of healing and will do the same for you.

    It’s likely that alters are fighting with you and the tug-o-war is getting you nowhere. Let go of the rope. Just let what is happening happen. You cannot disappear. Neither can you go insane. Your D.I.D. will ensure that your mind has the flexibility to adapt, and God is with you. You are on the brink of something you have always yearned for but never dared hope could be yours. Let go, my friend, and ride to fulfillment, resting in the safe arms of God.

    What is happening to you is exceptionally healthy. Your mind is birthing something new and wonderful. Be at peace.

For a little more, see Confusion.

Related topics:

 

 

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Wanting Revenge or Justice

Christians & Raw Emotions: Hate & Anger at Injustice

Revenge!

Divine Vengeance Against Those Who Hurt You

Christian, Be Angry! And Sin Not

Serious, Do-It-Yourself Healing of Inner Pain, Anger or Distress from Trauma, Bereavement, Divorce, Breakup, Abuse, Tragedy, Etc.

The Abuse Survivor’s Ultimate Revenge: Reclaiming your Sexuality

 

 

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Grief and Regret

It is common for an alter to grieve missing out on things that other alters enjoyed, such as being around when their children were growing up. Help them understand that in time they will be able to fully access all the memories and experiences other alters had and it will be exactly as if those experiences were their own. So this is not something to grieve about because the loss is only temporary. See Regaining Memories.

It is safe and healing to grieve genuine losses. For help with this, see Emotional Numbness.

 

 

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Integration

Dissociation is about losing control. You lose access to parts of your brain with their associated abilities, knowledge, feelings and so on. It means you lose some of your intellectual capacity. You lose your ability to reach your full potential.

Dissociation also involves keeping parts of you ignorant of the knowledge that would bring you relief from inner pain, turmoil and needless distress. Whereas smart decision-making hinges on knowing as many of the relevant facts as possible, dissociation keeps any part of you from having full access to all the facts. Dissociation often occurs at unexpected times; causing its victims to suddenly be left in the lurch without relevant facts and/or abilities. It can result in being falsely accused not just of stupidity but of lying.

Ending dissociation, however, has nothing to do with losing any alters. On the contrary, since each alter has exclusive access to a different part of your intellectual capacity, losing any alter would keep you permanently dissociated. This renders it ludicrous to suppose that healing would involve losing any of your alters. Each alter is a precious, irreplaceable part of you.

Since healing involves strengthening every part of you, real healing of D.I.D. has as its goal the empowering of each alter. It is setting them free from the fear, confusion, isolation and ignorance imposed on them by their abuser(s) who had cruelly deceived and manipulated them. It is ending torment so that each alter becomes more fulfilled and beautiful and responsible than you ever thought possible. It is helping each alter to be happier, more peaceful, competent, and more in charge.

Keeping alters suppressed or isolated causes them to be bitter, hateful and weird. The more empowered they are, the more Christlike they will be and the more like each other they will be. This happens because they will become increasingly aware of current circumstances and of your understanding of Christ, and the damaging lies the abuser(s) told them will be exposed as lies. They will become increasingly skilled at accessing each other’s abilities and this will increase their desire not to dominate other alters but to love each other and enjoy their companionship. As this process develops, uniting with other alters will no longer seem scary but will be increasingly natural and it will in no way diminish them but will cause them to feel more secure, more important and more alive.

The more that alters heal, the more alike they become. Young alters grow up, those who think it is the 1990s understand what year it really is and adjust to everyday living, those who hate God gradually fall in love with him and become kind and supportive, those who desperately need to express themselves will have had ample opportunities to do so, those who thought they were the opposite sex find peace with being the gender they really are, and so on. This means that, over the years, integration will get easier and easier and will eventually begin to occur naturally, unless there is some hold up in the healing progress.

Alters are very sensitive and cannot be pressured into integration. Any attempt to force them could cause them to retreat into long-term hiding and result not in healing but in a serious setback. The goal should not be peace or an easy life but to maximize your abilities so that you can achieve the most in life. This will end up bringing the greatest fulfillment, for which you will forever be grateful.

Integration is two or more alters merging. It seldom starts with all alters uniting but with just two. The next merging might not involve those two but another pair of alters merging with each other. And so on. It has nothing to do with getting rid of an alter you do not like. On the contrary, it is liking an alter so much that you choose to be with him/her 24/7. It is like moving from friendship to marriage, only the union is even deeper.

Because some people mistakenly think that integration is getting rid of an alter, they suppose that no longer being aware of an alter means integration has occurred, when all that has happened is that the alter has gone into hiding.

Integration is not the end of an alter but the end of the disadvantages of splitting. It is the end, for example, of times when you find yourself floundering due to the loss of information and abilities when a certain alter is not around. It involves continually having the other’s strengths and abilities and companionship and support. The price is that it also involves full awareness of the other’s pain and distressing memories. You cannot enjoy all the benefits without this. The downside seems scary but it will lessen the other’s pain and distress because the isolation is broken and the hurting alter will enjoy the healing benefits of your strength and your ability to see through misconceptions (such as self-blame) that cause most of the on-going pain.

You will probably prefer to work on the other’s healing before integration so that there is much less pain to unite with. Nevertheless, delays are like a cripple fearing the pain of healing surgery and so putting it off. Yes, a certain degree of pain is temporarily avoided but for longer than necessary the person ends up suffering all the problems associated with being crippled.

On the other hand, the ideal time to get a machine working to perfection is when it is in pieces. It is then that every part can be carefully examined, cleaned, polished and restored to full function. In fact, fully restored parts fit together better than rusted parts. Likewise, while a person is still fractured would seem the ideal time to build up each part so that when they are all put together the person is fully functional and, in fact, able to reach peak performance.

Integration is not all or nothing. You can have trial integrations where you try it for just a minute or so and then separate again. As you gain confidence, you can gradually increase the length of time you are united.

Here is some more help, condensed from another webpage of mine:

    The Goal of Integration

    In The Positive Benefits of D.I.D. I explain why I believe people with Dissociative Identity Disorder have superior brains. So I don’t believe the goal of integration should be to become entirely like people who have never had D.I.D., any more than the goal of a genius should be to lower himself to having “normal” intelligence. (I do not have D.I.D. myself, so I say this without bias.) The goal should be for all the alters to be identified and work harmoniously as a team that dearly love and support each other, know each other’s secrets, and have full access to each other’s memories and abilities. I do, however, think it best to try to avoid having some sleep while others are awake. For all of them to sleep at the same time and likewise to be alert at the same time will avoid unduly exhausting themselves and having to struggle through on less than full intellectual capacity.

    Towards Wholeness and Integration

    A child alter, who had been formed because of sexual abuse, was greatly disturbed. She who had seen herself as a little girl had come to realize that she had the body of a mature woman. This alarmed her because she believed that a sexually mature body would make her more subject to unwanted male attention. She found comfort when I explained how having an adult’s strong body, and the authority and believability that goes with it, made her less vulnerable to molesters. But she was still upset by the thought of no longer being a child.

    To point out that she had not only an adult body but also an adult mind had seemed a small step to me, but not to her. Until then she had seen herself as a little girl trapped in an adult’s body. She found the thought of being a full adult horrifying because she saw it as being robbed of her childhood and of her dreams. After me telling her this too early and too bluntly, she had coped primarily by living in denial of what I had said.

    A couple of weeks later she asked, “How old am I really?”

    I looked to the Lord, anxious not to make another mistake.

    I began a careful explanation of how she had come to exist as an alter and concluded with, “It’s most unfair that you’ve been dumped with all the pain and have missed out on all the good memories, but Jesus suffered so that he could take all your pain upon himself. You got left behind when the rest of you grew up but God wants to make you happy by helping you catch up so that you are reunited with the rest of you. That way, you’ll get all the good memories that you deserve – the memories that until now you have been robbed of.”

    I ended by specifically answering her question. “I believe that at present you are emotionally four years old. I’m not sure what your mental age is, but you certainly seem smarter than a four-year-old. And you have the beautiful, strong body of a mature woman. These three things are out of step. It’s no wonder you’re confused. It would be confusing for anyone. But God wants to heal you so that all of you is the one ‘age’ with happy memories and no confusion.”

    Usually, when little alters fear losing their childhood, it indicates that they have not yet received all the fun, love and nurturing that they need. If this need were left unmet, the effect of deprivation during childhood would continue and one would expect the whole person would go through life suffering from unfulfilled emotional needs. If so, the Healing Lord understands and would not want these little alters to miss out on what is needed for emotional wholeness. So little alters need not fear. God will not rush things. He does not want them to miss out on the nurturing they long for.

    As I continued to explain things to her, peace began to settle upon this dear alter. She no longer saw herself as a separate person trapped in someone else’s body but as a vital part of one person. Now she saw herself as having been tragically disconnected from the rest of her and that union with her other parts represents true fulfillment and the end of confusion. She was not the freak that she had seen herself to be, but simply someone who, through no fault of her own, had been deeply wounded emotionally, and God wanted to heal that wound. Becoming one with her host was not the frightening loss that she feared but the gaining of new memories and abilities. It was discovering that she was a key piece in a jigsaw puzzle that would never make sense without her. It was a healing, a coming home, a restoration, becoming whole.

    Just a little while later, this alter began finding herself merging with two of her fellow alters whenever they met with Jesus. I asked her what it felt like to be one with the other alters. She replied that it made her feel stronger, more capable and more alive. The experience took nothing from her; it added to her. It enriched her.

    It is natural for alters to mistakenly suppose that integration would mean they would cease to exist but not only will they never cease to exist, integration means gaining more abilities – the abilities of the other alters. There is no loss. It is a win-win.

    One woman with D.I.D. put it this way:

      As much as I hate having this disorder I often used to worry about who I would be without it. Through your webpage, I’ve learned it doesn’t have to be that way. I would be more, not less.

    A woman had many alters who were excitedly discussing forming into groups of two or three and merging with each other. Some, while not committing themselves to permanency, were actually trialing it for a few days at a time. This had come about naturally, without the slightest input from any counselor. Many of them would have loved to merge with their protector alter whom they greatly admired. The protector refused, fearing that merging would result in gaining each other’s weaknesses. She worried that gaining any weakness would lower her ability to protect the alters, should that need ever arise. Moreover, she did not want to inflict her own weaknesses upon any other alter.

    I told the protector that I expected that each would gain the other’s strengths and that weaknesses would disappear, unless all the alters she merged with had the same weakness. At my suggestion, she asked God about it. He always comes up with brilliant insights. He replied that it would be best to wait a little while before merging with any other alter and that she should focus first on merging with God. This alter was already a very committed Christian but at times was a little tentative in her relationship with God, as is typical of someone whose trust has been seriously violated by humans. Of course, God’s response is very scriptural. For example:

      1 Corinthians 6:16-17  . . . For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

    The alter concluded that by merging with the perfect Lord, her own weaknesses would cease to be an issue.

    Bursting Out of Confinement

    In Heidelberg Zoo, Germany, a bear was confined in a small cage for years. Every day it would continually pace up and down as far as the cage would permit – twelve paces up and twelve paces back. Finally, the bear was released in a large new enclosure, but to everyone’s dismay, all it would do was walk back and forth, twelve paces up, twelve paces back.

    Alters are like that. It’s not that an alter does not have the skills or memories or emotional ownership of certain events that a fellow alter has. It is simply that such alters are living in denial, or mistakenly think that they are more limited than they really are. They can access all the memories and skills of the full person but they believe themselves incapable of going beyond the narrow confines of who they think they are. They usually see themselves as having no existence before a certain age, nor beyond a certain age. They need to be freed from the confines that this self-image imposes on them.

    As alters begin to heal, they will occasionally draw upon memories or skills outside of the age they imagine they are limited to. For example, an alter who thinks she is a child might display maturity or vocabulary or a skill that the person never had at that age. Or an alter might speak of an event that occurred before he was formed as if he personally experienced it. This often happens so naturally that alters are unaware that they are doing it. They can be greatly helped if, when you notice it happening, you gently draw to their attention that what they are saying or doing indicates that they truly are the full person that you have been telling them they are.

    Since alters exist in an attempt to protect other parts of the person from at least some of the trauma of deeply disturbing experiences, they retain the deepest emotional reaction to experiences. Not surprisingly, they also sometimes seek to protect the rest of the person by keeping unpleasant information to themselves. Although these secrets seemed horrific when the alter formed, the host has since matured physically and probably spiritually, or circumstances may have greatly changed. For any of these reasons, the secrets are likely to be less upsetting to the host than the alter supposes. It is also not uncommon for an alter to be trying desperately to keep a secret without realizing that the host already knows about it.

    Metaphorically speaking, it was as though artificial roadblocks had been set up in her host’s brain dividing the real person into several alters. Neural pathways from each alter to the thoughts, memories, viewpoints and so on of the rest of the person are all in place and full access can easily be established once each blockage is removed. As an alter stops holding on to secrets and looks to God for healing, the blockage slowly dissolves, thus allowing the alter, simply by thinking, to access memories and skills that the alter hadn’t known he/she had. As this begins to happen, the alter becomes increasingly like the whole person, with just a slightly different perspective unique to that alter.

    Once confidence is gained and an alter reveals his/her secrets to the rest of the person, a significant reason for the alter to exist as a separate entity vanishes. To unite with other alters the alter must also like those alters and (if the alters are older) not be afraid of growing up or losing his/her individuality. The alter is then likely to merge with one or more other alters and the process continue until all the alters have integrated into one person with the full power of all the memories and skills and perspectives of each alter combined. The order in which merging takes place might surprise. For instance, a teenage alter might happen to have more in common with one in its thirties than one in its twenties and so the teenage alter could merge with the thirties alter, while the alter in its twenties temporarily continues to remain separate. Moreover, it is often a case that opposites attract. Alters with a particular weakness will often team up with those who can compensate. A timid alter might team up with a courageous one; an alter lacking a particular intellectual skill might team up with one that has that skill, and so on.

    Hindrances to Integration

    Total healing and full integration might take years but the good news is that throughout your healing journey you will enjoy the benefits of continual improvement. Like a young athlete who will become world champion, you will keep getting better and better even though you cannot expect to reach your peak in just a few months.

    The first step towards full integration is for alters to reveal themselves. By reading my webpages you will come to understand that each alter needs to feel safe enough to do this and that upon first surfacing, each alter usually has so much pain – and sometimes bad habits – that the host and already-surfaced alters are reluctant for a new alter to manifest himself/herself. So the surfacing of alters is usually a slow, drawn-out process and yet even then the person usually feels that it is happening too quickly. There are various factors affecting how long it takes for all alters to be identified. An obvious factor is how many alters a person has. People who have suffered long term Satanic Ritual Abuse could have over a hundred.

    Even with daily counseling and only thirty alters who get on well with each other, it is likely to take at least a year – probably much longer – for all alters to be identified. Moreover, I know of no way of ascertaining that every alter has revealed himself/herself. Often there are alters that no other alter is aware of, and even if an alter knows, he or she might feel obligated not to reveal another alter’s existence without that alter’s permission. Thankfully, invaluable moves towards integration will begin long before all alters have appeared. As alters mature, they will become increasing alike and various alters will team up.

    Beyond the mere surfacing of alters, full integration is also slow. What particularly makes integration a drawn-out process is that each alter must want it. Just because certain alters have been conversing with you for months and have undergone significant healing does not mean that they do not have further serious issues that need to be worked through before they are ready to integrate. There are so many potential obstacles to an alter wanting integration. Let’s list some of them.

      [*] An unwillingness to accept present-day reality

        The person’s real gender, actual age or current marital status are examples of reality that an alter might not be ready to accept. Desperately wanting to keep living in denial would make such an alter recoil from uniting with an alter who accepts reality.

      [*] An unwillingness to accept truths known to another alter

        An alter might, for example, be so desperate to love and respect a certain person (a parent, perhaps) that it refuses to believe another alter’s experiences that shatter the myth – perhaps by proving that the person was an abuser. For such an alter, integration would involve gaining memories that the alter refuses to accept. So the alter will remain separate until it is willing to accept this.

      [*] Wanting to monopolize access to a certain skill

        An alter’s concern that she might end up ignored or undervalued by other alters could move the alter to keep other alters dependent upon her by monopolizing access to a certain skill or useful memories she has. Integration involves each alter having full access to all memories and skills, and until she feels more secure, such an alter will refuse to let this happen.

      [*] Fear that integration means ceasing to exist

        I have explained earlier the benefits to alters of integration.

      [*] Maintaining a different sleep schedule from the other alters

        An alter might prefer to avoid stress by sleeping at times when the rest of the person is interacting with people. Young alters need to play and might be given no opportunity to do so except when everyone else is asleep. Another reason for a different sleep schedule might be that an alter feels it is safest for at least one alter to be on guard at all times against any possible attack. The result is working in shifts with alters, rather than seeking to work in unison.

      [*] Going into hiding whenever things get difficult

        Leaving it to other alters when things get tough will obviously hinder integration.

      [*] Not wanting to share another alter’s beliefs or hopes

        For example, cultivating hopes and dreams might be important for one alter but might appall another who is terrified of the pain of dashed hopes.

      [*] Falsely blaming an alter for past traumas

        One alter, for example, might believe that another acted inappropriately and so blame the alter for what happened. Such ill-feeling will block integration.

      [*] Resentment over genuine offenses

        An alter might in the past have “hit” or insulted another alter or have wished an alter were dead. Unless alters forgive each other, they will not merge.

      [*] Intolerance of immaturity

        This can take many forms. For example, when allowed to manifest herself, an alter formed as a baby might need diapers or want to be bottle fed. Older alters could strongly resent this. Or older alters might want to watch movies that would terrify children, or do other things inappropriate for children and hence upset their own young alters. This will hinder healing and so block the path to integration.

      [*] Moral objections

        An alter might swear, use porn, smoke or do something else that another alter strongly objects to on moral grounds. Until resolved, this will divide alters.

      [*] Differing tastes

        There might be serious disputes over choice of food, clothing, music, use of money, and so on.

      [*] A significant person in the alter’s life might not want integration

        Alters might resist integration because they fear that a counselor or loved one might like them less after integration. Or the loved one might be consciously sabotaging integration because he or she prefers to relate to someone with alters. The loved one might, for example, be so keen to have children that he or she encourages alters who think they are children to continue to be childish.

    Alice, whose alters are nearing full integration, writes:

      One of my alters set some ground rules that we all follow:

        1. Do not take out your hurt on other alters. They are hurting too.

        2. Do not use force on another alter. Each of us knows what it is to be manipulated and treated roughly, so we do not perpetuate this by treating others badly.

        3. Do not make fun of another alter. We all know how hard it is to communicate and how confusing it is when alters first surface. We have all been trapped by isolation and this expresses itself in many forms. Let each alter come to terms with what she is experiencing and to communicate it as best as she can.

        4. Above all, never betray an alter. Anything confided to you, including the mere existence of an alter, is a sacred trust that must not be revealed to anyone without the alter’s full permission.

      These rules have helped alters become friends. It starts from the moment any of us become aware of an alter who is new to us. Remembering how lonely and confused we once were, we immediately offer her our friendship and remain faithful and kind to her, no matter how unpleasant she might initially seem. If she hurts us in any way, we refuse to take it personally but compassionately realize it is because she is delirious with pain. We must love as Christ loves, in full faith that such courageous love will slowly melt the heart of a bitter, angry alter; transforming her into a beautiful and precious friend. And on the way to this transformation, we teach her our ground rules.

      Maintaining those ground rules has made us dangerous to hell. United, we fight together as an army against everything that would seek to bring us down. We can read each other’s minds and function as one, switching around to let some rest or to let each other’s strengths be used to achieve what is needed. The most critical thing, however, is to be submitted to God in all of this.

It is very empowering for an alter plagued by a particular weakness to be integrated with one who does not have this weakness. So often the most is achieved by the merging of alters that have quite different strengths and weaknesses. Nevertheless, in the entire healing process, and particularly with integration, divine wisdom is needed. Keep seeking God for his timing and which alters should merge with which.

To understand more about how safe and beneficial it is to empower alters, see Protector Alters.

 

 

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Overly Worried about Other People’s Problems

Alters are used to taking upon themselves the emotional pain and concerns of their host in order to spare the host. This habit can cause some alters to try to do this for loved ones but there are two obvious difficulties with this that should be explained to the alter:

    1. Since the loved one is a separate being, the alter’s emotional distress will not relieve the other person’s distress.

    2. It is easy (especially for an alter) to see someone else through the prism of one’s own experience and pain and mistakenly think the person is far more distressed than he/she really is.

 

 

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Programming

The term “programming” might seem mysterious and perhaps even overwhelmingly powerful, but it isn’t. It simply means training and you can reverse it.

If you were hungry and about to eat delicious food, your mouth would water. In other words, you expect to eat and so your body automatically prepares for it. If every time a bell rang it was immediately followed by being a delicious morsel, you would expect to eat whenever you heard the bell and so your mouth would water in anticipation.

This is a simple example of programming. Your mouth watering at the sound of a bell would be beyond your conscious control, but the effect of the programming would fade if the bell kept ringing without you being given food. Eventually, the sound would cease to have any effect on your mouth. Even before the effect wore off, if you know that the bell will no longer be associated with eating, you would not be fooled intellectually, even though it might take a while for the effect of the programming to wear off.

Certain evil people have used the principles of programming to try to manipulate their victims and this information has been shared among some abusers. As demonstrated in the above example, however, programming does not mean a person will always remain intellectually duped by what happened in the past. Neither does it mean that a programmed response – a physical or emotional reaction, such as flinching or a racing heart or panic or fear – will be permanent. For example, every part of a person can come to realize that he/she is now safe and that there is therefore no need to fear. This knowledge will not immediately stop the programmed emotional or bodily response but it is the first step towards it. A person can then remind himself/herself not to believe the feelings the stimulus triggers and to calm down. A person can even train himself/herself to associate relaxation or even pleasure with the stimulus that used to induce fear, so that gradually the negative completely disappears.

 

 

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Forgiving Yourself: How Despising Yourself Can Hinder Your Healing

See Survivors Share the Secrets to Inner Healing from Sexual Abuse

See also:

 

 

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When Alters See Themselves as Someone or Something they are Not
(Also Introjects – Alters who Assume your Abuser’s Identity)

Until they begin to heal, alters usually think they are someone other than who they really are, even if it is simply believing they are younger than their physical body. What they believe about themselves can sometimes seem quite bizarre but, usually, it is something that ends up giving them a tiny bit of peace by helping them feel a little less vulnerable. So helping them realize that they are now safe is a big step towards them accepting their true identity.

A very helpful link for understanding all of this is When Alters See Themselves as Someone or Something they are Not.

Some alters (called introjects) even assume the identity of a real external person and even convince other alters that they are that person. (The above link explains how other alters can easily accept as true whatever alters believe themselves to be.) Usually, the person they see themselves as being is someone who impacted their lives, and it is not uncommon for that person to be their abuser. This belief helps them feel more secure but has the unfortunate consequence that they will act like their abuser in the way they treat other people and alters.

Since, until healing begins, alters tend to get left behind and not be aware of the passage of time, the actual person they believe themselves to be is likely to be much older than the introject realizes and may even have died. Pointing this out can sometimes help introjects realize they are not really that person. They also need to know that it is now safe to be who they really are.

Discovering they are not who they thought they are will not only bring them peace, it will also help any other alters who were being frightened or tormented by introjects assuming their false identity.

For much help and insight, see:

 

 

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Sleeper Alters / Assassin Alters

You might think yourself incapable of having such alters, but at some point of desperation in your childhood, you might have unknowingly formed one, even though for most of your life your attitude has been very different. If you have any sleeper alters, the extremes they could go to means you very much need to become aware of them. Disturbingly, however, they will probably see it as their duty to deliberately conceal themselves from you.

You might have heard the term sleeper cell – a tiny group of secret agents who are ready to act as saboteurs for a foreign nation or terrorist organization but, to avoid being detected, they remain inactive until required. This is the sense in which the term sleeper alter is used. Many alters act a little like this but I am referring to those who are sometimes called assassin alters. This latter term suggests the extremes to which such alters might go if they perceived the situation as sufficiently desperate. They see themselves as the last line of defense in protecting the system (all the alters and the host) should life become utterly intolerable. The fact that they have most likely already tolerated atrocities that would have provoked many people to violence proves they are not malicious. Nevertheless, they remain ready to take a life (including that of their whole system) if they perceive the threat as sufficiently extreme.

If, at some point in your (perhaps forgotten) past, you were being treated abominably, you might have feared that if things got any worse life would become so intolerable that the only solution would be suicide or physically attacking the abuser. Suicide, however, could have terrible consequences for one’s loved ones, such as dependent children (whether siblings or one’s offspring). Killing someone in what you believe is self-defense would likewise cause great distress to one’s loved ones. For example, the abuser might be a family member whose death could have highly undesirable consequences for one’s loved ones, or courts might not see it as justifiable homicide and you being jailed could adversely affect those loved ones.

Even if never acted upon, it might be somewhat reassuring to know that one has as a last resort the possibility of ending one’s torment by suicide or killing the abuser. Such reassurance would be lost, however, if one feared that concern for one’s loved ones might prevent one from taking that option, should it ever be needed. A way around this dilemma is to create one or more alters who deliberately keep themselves ignorant of the outside world – even having no contact with alters who might pass on such information. That way they cannot possibly form any emotional attachments that might weaken their resolve to fulfill their mission in a desperate situation.

The obvious challenge with remaining ignorant of the outside world is how can a sleeper alter know when he/she is needed? The alters’ solution is to train themselves to respond to certain triggers that they believe will indicate an extreme emergency. An example might be when a certain alter engages in an unusual amount of self-harm or displays some other sign of being unusually distressed. Once triggered, the alter will do everything possible to assume full control of the system. In order to exercise the authority the alter feels the emergency demands, he/she might pretend to be another well-liked or powerful alter. The result can be very confusing for the rest of the person. So if an alter suddenly starts acting out of character, a sleeper alter might be the reason.

It is also possible for abusers who understand D.I.D. to deliberately create sleeper alters who they train to respond to a trigger, such as a code word or some indication that the abusers’ vile secrets are about to be exposed. In response to such a trigger, the alter might take drastic, undesirable action under the false impression that it is required.

One might later escape the abuser’s influence or change one’s mind about suicide or violence ever being acceptable but this alter will be so isolated that he/she is unlikely to be aware of such changes.

The obvious concern is that no one is likely to know of the existence of sleeper alters until these alters are triggered into taking over, at which time they might panic and act rashly. A further concern is that their ignorance of current circumstances is likely to cloud their ability to act wisely.

Since a person can have several sleeper alters who are unaware of each other, I know of no way of being sure that people have discovered all of their sleeper alters. It is helpful, however, to be aware that sleeper alters might unexpectedly be triggered and if this ever happens, you will need to rapidly update the alter with all the information needed to respond in a safe, informed way.

Once a sleeper alter is discovered and the immediate crisis is averted, it is clearly important to avoid further unnecessary crises by doing your utmost to convince the alter that it is now safe to remain out of hiding indefinitely. Such alters usually find this very scary, however, and can feel that by remaining out they are being unfaithful to their role and letting the whole person down. Do all you can to persuade such an alter that there are always better options – or at least options more pleasing to God – than suicide or murder.

These alters crave love and understanding so much that when they find it, they will be very reluctant to lose it again by going back to “sleep.” So it can be particularly helpful for other alters to give the new alter lots of love, understanding and comfort. Another significant help is for the alter to become more aware of loved ones such as children, or to fall in love with his/her marriage partner.

Of course, the ultimate counselor remains Jesus. Encourage alters to let Jesus share his heart with them. He will reassure them.

The good news is that sleeper alters are very strong and resolute and this quality makes them valuable assets once they are integrated.

 

 

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Gay Alters

See:

 

 

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‘Astral Travel’

‘Astral Travel’ Astral travel is the occult belief that some people’s spirits travel while their body remains elsewhere. People with Dissociative Identity Disorder can sometimes experience things that seem like this but the most accurate explanations lie elsewhere.

There are several possibilities.

1. When someone seems to astral travel to you

[*] Often when people feel as if they are being attacked by an abuser who is not physically present, it is actually because an alter is suffering a flashback – the replaying of an exceptionally vivid memory of past abuse. During a flashback, the memory can be as powerful as if it were physically happening at that moment.

[*] A less common experience that could be mistaken for an abuser accessing someone by astral travel is the actions of an introject alter. Introjects are alters who have taken on the identity of an outside person (often an abuser). Since they have become convinced that they are this outside person, and they share the same brain as other alters, their fellow alters will see the introjects as being that outside person. (See Introjects)

[*] The least likely scenario is that, while toying with your mind, a demon has taken on the identiy of an outside person.

2. When you seem to astral travel

[*] This is usually an alter’s vivid imagination – often a habit initiated as a mental way of giving oneself temporary relief from an oppressive situation or mental torment. Occasionally alters are ‘programmed’ to do this, i.e. trained by their abusers to imagine this upon the occurrence of a certain trigger.

[*] The final possibility is what the Bible calls a vision. Consider, for example:

    2 Corinthians 12:2 I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I don’t know, or whether out of the body, I don’t know; God knows), such a one caught up into the third heaven.

 

 

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The Advantages of Having D.I.D.

I don’t have D.I.D. but I would be over the moon if I discovered that I did because it would mean I have greater potential than I ever dreamed and now that I know it, I can look forward to reaping the benefits. For help in understanding this, see the following:

Your Amazing Potential if you have Dissociative Identity Disorder

A Superior Brain? The Positive Benefits of D.I.D.

 

 

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Should Alters be Baptized Individually After they Accept Christ?

I commend any alter who would like to be baptized and it is entirely each alter’s decision. But if another part of the person has already been meaningfully baptized is there any necessity for more baptisms?

Suppose someone has a hundred alters (quite a realistic number) and is married. Although it might take some time for each alter to come to terms with it, eventually every alter should individually accept that he/she is married. But if only one alter were present at the wedding ceremony does this mean there should be a hundred weddings?

Legally, it takes only one wedding to make a person married. Wouldn’t God see baptism the same way?

Moreover, as the alter heals, repeated acts like this become superfluous. Healing involves each alter sharing their memories, so that eventually one alter’s memories become the other alter’s memories. After all, they all form the one person. So if an alter gives her life to Jesus and another alter has been baptized, memory-wise that baptism eventually becomes as real to the alter who was not originally present as if she herself were baptized. Another consideration is that separate baptisms would seem to reinforce division between the alters. Nevertheless, there is no right or wrong in this. It is each alter’s decision.

 

 

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Why so Much Emphasis on Jesus/God?

After four years of intense university study I qualified as a psychologist. I discovered, however, that there is far more power in Jesus than psychologists are able to tap into and so I abandoned a career in psychology (where I could have got far more money) and got a low grade, part-time job to support me while I devoted myself to what I am certain is helping people far more effectively and on a much deeper level. I have done this totally without charge at the cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars (in terms of lost income) because I consider helping people to be far too important to make any money – not even covering my own expenses – from it. My website is enormous. It is so extensive because I keep nothing back that I could charge for. Everything is there for free.

Life is too short to waste it on trying to offer superficial cures. My entire website is unashamedly Christian and my approach has helped not only large numbers of people, it saved my own wife’s life, who insists she would otherwise have killed herself.

Over and over and over I have observed that the people with Dissociative Identity Disorder who make huge advances in their healing are always those who have helped their alters to make Jesus their best friend and to share everything with him and learn from him. He is by far the best therapist in the universe and he alone fully understands everything that every alter has suffered and has supernatural solutions.

See Jesus, the Alter’s Alter

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Links Related to the Entire Webpage

How to Comfort the Hurting

What happens during our most impressionable years – such as having our trust seriously violated, being regularly abused by one or more parents, having our self-esteem crushed or being made to feel unlovable – can seriously challenge our ability to believe that God is so different to the way those close to us have treated us. Some pages that can help are:

[More About D.I.D.] [Other Topics] [Bless & Be Blessed by Facebook]
[Daily Quotes] [E-Mail Me] [My Shame]

Not to be sold. © Copyright, Grantley Morris, 2014, 2015. 2017. For much more by the same author, see www.net-burst.net   No part of these writings may be copied without citing this entire paragraph.

 

 

 

 

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